Upcoming provincial elections in Iraq may shake up the political situation and exacerbate some of the country’s sectarian frictions, according to Leila Fadel, Baghdad bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers.
Fadel says that in places such as Ninevah Province, the Kurdish and Arab tensions are rising to the surface and the ballot box could change the power balance there. In Diyala, a province now dominated by Shia politicians but mostly populated by Sunni Muslims, a major shift is possible.
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The elections also will be a test for the Sadrist movement, which has spearheaded Shia opposition to the U.S. occupation. It is “unclear how much the Sadr movement [has] lost power,” Fadel said.
It is clear though that the standard of life has not improved for most Iraqis and that they may express their disenchantment at the polls, Fadel said.
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