Five days to go before Iraqis take part in their historic first democratic vote, and in Baghdad signs are similar to those you would see in most other nations during an election campaign. Television tells people to make their votes count, and there appears to be some enthusiasm for the promise of a fresh start the poll brings.
“Certainly I will go to the polls. I consider this election day to be the end to the occupation, the end to terrorists, the end to the bad situation for the Iraqi people”, said one older man.
In places like devastated Fallujah, however, it is a very different story. The Sunni stronghold is still reeling from the American’s armoured assault in November. The homeless are everywhere and aid camps struggle to cope with the demand for daily basics. Talk about voting here and the reply is to the point. “I do not care about the election. Let them bring anyone to power, the most important thing to me is to provide food for my family”, said one young father,
For him and many others like him the vote just brings more frequent security swoops and car bombs. With two days left, less than 25 percent of eligible voters have registered.