Starting today, Iraqi citizens living outside their country, from Jordan to Denmark, the UK to the U.S., are casting their ballots for a new Iraqi government.
But of more than a million eligible voters, only about a quarter of them have actually registered. Some say the low turnout of Iraqi expats is because of bad organization, requiring many to travel hundreds of miles first to register, and then to vote. And some Iraqis say they’re not voting to protest the American-led invasion and occupation of their native land.
Others hail this tenuous experiment with democracy as a chance for a new start. As one Iraqi voting in Sydney Australia said: “If you want freedom you have to fight for it. I’m voting for democracy.”
Anwar Diab, Iraqi American in the US, currently owner and General Manager of eLink Associates, and CEO of Baghdad Communication Group, based in the US and Baghdad
Sabah Jawad, Iraqi living in the UK, Secretary of Iraqi Democrats Against the Occupation
Thanassis Cambanis, Boston Globe reporter based in Baghdad.