Iraqis Concern Over Corruption, Deep Distrust Among Political Parties: Poll

Many Iraqis see corruption and a deep distrust among the political parties and openness for new and independent candidates running for office, as a big challenge the country is scrambling with, according to a survey findings.

A survey conducted by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research said that 46 percent of Iraqis put corruption as the first most important problem the country facing with.

Patricia Karam, Middle East and North Africa Regional Director for IRI said “Many Iraqis see the issue of corruption as a reason to question the government’s ability to put the interests of citizens first.”

“Iraqis feel that established political parties and their leadership are part of an entrenched, patronage-based kleptocratic system that has benefited a narrow, ruling elite.”

“When asked about the most important factor for determining who they will vote for in the elections, 30 percent of those intending to vote cited a candidate’s independence,” it added.

“Although Iraqis have registered their enduring dissatisfaction with the status quo and distrust in the system, its patrons, and beneficiaries, they are keen to support new faces,” said Karam.

“A number of nascent parties and candidates emerging from the protests did surprisingly well in the elections, winning seats in parliament. If Iraqis want to effect change, they need to continue to engage in the democratic process.”

The IRI further said that forty-nine percent of respondents claimed they were “more likely” to support a candidate who has never held office, while only 20 percent said they were “less likely” to vote for such a candidate.


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