Does politicians' use of state funds for electoral propaganda affect the choices of Iraqis?[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] |Today[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Baghdad today - Baghdad
With the provincial council elections scheduled for next October approaching, observers are warning against using political money and attempting to exploit government positions in the electoral propaganda process to promote party figures and indirectly influence the choice of the Iraqi citizen.
"Under the microscope"
Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani had previously warned of the goals of “corrupt people” for the purpose of obtaining more votes in the upcoming elections, stressing that the corrupt are lurking to steal public money and must be confronted, as he pointed out that “there is a group of corrupt people waiting to pounce.” Financial allocations are as they did with the state’s explosive budgets previously, and they are the ones who talk about chastity and fighting corruption, but they are corrupt.”
"Illegal" electoral promotion
In this regard, a member of the House of Representatives, Muhammad Al-Khafaji, criticized some governors’ exploitation of appointment files, projects, and land distribution for electoral promotion and winning voters’ votes, while the Prime Minister called for obligating governorate administrations to stop some events and activities until further notice.
He said in an interview with "Baghdad Today", "The exploitation of government positions in electoral propaganda is very likely at the present time, and that the Prime Minister has directed to all governorates not to exploit power, influence, and state resources in electoral propaganda."
Al-Khafaji added, “We identified a number of files that some conservatives are exploiting for electoral promotion, and we sent an urgent letter to the Prime Minister, in which we asked for careful monitoring and directives to stop some events, activities, and issues that could be exploited electorally,” explaining that “among the files that have begun to be exploited in Electoral promotion is the file of government contract appointments included in the general budget, which some people have begun to give as if it were a gift and a gift from him to the citizens.”
Exploiting state resources
Some political forces use their influence to finance electoral campaigns and propaganda and exploit the resources of the Iraqi state to achieve electoral goals and gain more audience for the purpose of competing in the upcoming elections, while popular demands are increasing to activate the political parties law and tighten control over the use of political money in the electoral process, as it covers the streets of Baghdad and the provinces. Weeks before the elections, photos of the candidates and their electoral program were released, according to observers.
Representative Al-Karbalai said that the issue of distributing residential land plots has become a tool for conservative election candidates, as in some governorates, and Karbala is not an exception, there is an obscene distribution of lands in ways that are not logical, noting that there is implementation of formal projects that are quickly completed and unreal and are taking place in a superficial manner.
The financial spending ceiling for the provincial council elections has not yet been determined, as the spokeswoman for the Election Commission, Jumana Al-Ghalai, said in press statements that the Commission formed a committee headed by the Director General of the Department of Parties and Organizations Affairs to study this issue, and held meetings to discuss the working mechanism in order to control the financial spending ceiling. For election campaigns, stressing that the decision remains with the Chairman and members of the Board of Commissioners.
Independent MP Bassem Khashan confirmed in press statements that “the majority of the blocs and parties have unknown funding, and have economic bodies that control the work of state commercial institutions, and some of them have armed wings, and have movements outside the framework of the state and the law with this unrestrained weapon, and implementing the party law in a real way means Depriving her of political work according to what was stated in its paragraphs, which has not been truly implemented since its enactment until now,” stressing “the necessity of activating this law properly as the date of the provincial council elections approaches.”
Party Organization Law
In 2015, the Iraqi Parliament approved the “Parties Organization Law,” known as Law No. 36, which is the first law drafted to regulate the process of forming parties in the country and their work. The law included several provisions, including financing, the party’s programs and activities, and its participation in the political process and legislative or governorate council elections.
According to the Iraqi constitution, the provincial councils are responsible for selecting the governor and the governorate’s executive officials, and they have the powers of dismissal, appointment, and approval of the project plan in accordance with the financial budget allocated to the governorate by the central government in Baghdad.
Observers of the electoral affairs say that political money has always played a major role in the Iraqi elections, as is the case with loyalties of a political nature, especially ideological ones, and that these elections scheduled to be held on the eighteenth of next October are of exceptional importance, as they will determine the forces controlling the elections. Local governments over the next ten years, which explains the early start of the electoral campaign.
Source: Baghdad Al-Youm + agencies