Sunday’s election in Iraq drew a high turnout among the nation’s Shia majority and Kurds. As expected, the turnout among the Sunnis was low, and the challenge of bringing that disgruntled minority into the political process remains daunting.
Iraq’s interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi pronounced the election a major victory over terrorism. The hope now is that the newly elected representatives will be seen as legitimate leaders and will manage to forge a functioning democracy in the country.
Hear reactions from Iraqi citizens about their first free election in nearly half a century.
Anthony Shadid, Pulitzer Prize winning Islamic Affairs correspondent for the Washington Post;
Anwar Aljebor, director of the government sponsored radio station Radio Al-Nahrain and resident of Basra;
Wamidth Nadhmi, Professor of Political Science at Baghdad University and spokesman for Iraqi Foundation Congress, a political party that included representatives from various ethnic and religious groups;
Sanaa Tarik, Director of the Independent Iraqi Woman’s Organization
Falah Mustafa, Minister of State in the Kurdistan Regional Government and life long resident of Northern Iraq;
Wafaa’ Al-Natheema, translator and founder of the Institute of Near Eastern and African Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts;
Michael Ignatieff, Director of the Carr Center of Human Rights Policy at Harvard University