A vote for stability? The electorate's verdict

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The Independent Online

I want to vote so we have stability and security. I will vote for the United Iraqi Alliance, list 169. This is the constitution we're talking about. It's important. The list will give us security and demolish terrorism. We want someone from among us, someone who will work for us. If it weren't for Sistani's approval of the list maybe I would vote for someone else. All we need is a good guy that will come and serve us.

Hassan Hossein Abdul Qader, 54, short-order cook

I want to vote so we have stability and security. I will vote for the United Iraqi Alliance, list 169. This is the constitution we're talking about. It's important. The list will give us security and demolish terrorism. We want someone from among us, someone who will work for us. If it weren't for Sistani's approval of the list maybe I would vote for someone else. All we need is a good guy that will come and serve us.

Igbal al-Salaami, 45, teacher

If security conditions are okay, I will vote, because elections are civilised and healthy. Now I'm thinking of not voting because the security is so bad. I feel Mr Iyad Allawi is a moderate, which is what is badly needed in Iraq right now.

Mohammad Shafi, 28, labourer

The elections are for us but we are not seeing it. No party or list has stepped up to provide us with electricity and fuel. We will vote. But for whom? I know only Iyad Allawi and I haven't seen anything from him. I was walking down the street and someone gave me a card for some candidate. I don't know him. Why should I vote for him?

Abdul Rahman Hassan Ugla, 40, baker

I will vote for the right person and for peace and stability to overcome this difficult time. I will vote Mr Iyad Allawi's list.

Reza Abbas Saleh, 36, restaurant manager

God willing, we will go on election and we will vote for list 169, the United Iraqi Alliance, because it is the list that is blessed by the religious leaders and the one that will bring peace and stability. We need a constitution that respects Islam and human rights all the Iraqis.

Ibrahim Sharif al Kazragi, 38, pharmacist

No one knows what the candidates are, neither by their work or their ideas. I will not vote because it is not the proper time and we're under occupation. The election will serve only the occupier.

Fayhaa Um Malaak, 26, housewife

Yes, I will vote. It's democracy to vote. I haven't seen anything but bad in my country. Let's try to change things. I'm not afraid of election day. From what I have seen, Mr Allawi is educated, understanding and civilised. There is a strong possibility I will vote for him.

Hossein, 28, police officer

We're responsible for the security of the elections. How can we not vote? I will probably vote for Mr Allawi. He's the most capable, he's got a strong personality and he knows the risks that are out there. At this stage, any man with a weak personality will not serve us.

Hamza Saleh, 40, unemployed labourer

I will vote because it's better than nothing. I don't have anyone in mind. I don't know who the candidates are. I will decide at the time of the voting for whom to vote.

Naqib Ali Hadi Yussef Salman, 67, teahouse owner

I will vote because that will benefit Islam. I don't lean toward any candidate. I lean toward Islam and Arabs and the nation. I haven't decided who I will vote for yet. I will look into all the candidates during the coming week.

Mohamad Saleh Dulaymi, 43, unemployed

How can we vote? We are living in a camp. Our apartment building is just outside Fallujah and it has been taken over by Americans. We can't even get to our houses. Our things are still there. I can't vote. I don't know where to vote. I don't even know where I will be living tomorrow.

Majed Mehdi, 40, labourer

God willing, I will vote. Voting is a new democratic process for us. I will vote for either Iyad Allawi or Ahmed Chalabi. I used to read their newspapers when I was in away in exile in Jordan. They wrote good things. They were opposed to Saddam. They were the ones who pushed America to overthrow Saddam.

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