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Iraqis Express Frustration Over Delays in Forming New Government

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In Iraq, leaders of the recently elected parliament continue to negotiate the formation of the new Iraqi government, nearly two months after the parliamentary elections that elected them.

Iraqis are expressing frustration over the delays in forming a government, two years after the war that toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein. But many say they are not.

The owner of a fire alarm shop in central Baghdad, Mohammed Faisal, says the people expected better results. The businessman, 37, says people want the new parliament to address the lack of security in Iraq and its struggling economy. But, he says, the leaders seem concerned only about power and their personal interests. As a result he does not think they will do much for Iraqis.

 

A barber down the street, Najamaldin al-Janabi, shouts over an electrical generator that he is optimistic despite the lack of security and basic services. He says, however, that the interim government, installed by the U.S.-led coalition after it overthrew Saddam Hussein, cannot control the situation. The economy has collapsed, he says. Security has collapsed. And there is a collapse of moral values. A new government is urgently needed.

An office worker for a private company, Nisreen Nezher, says she expected the new government to be formed more easily. She says parliament members are spending all their time haggling over cabinet seats, while security is worsening all the time.

A shop owner in the Karada district, Salahwali Merzah, says parliament leaders should take a lesson from the Iraqis who elected them in last January's elections. Mr. Salahwali says we did our job. We went to the polls. Now it is their duty to do something for Iraqis, to serve the Iraqi people.

A merchant named Ahmed says Iraqis are hoping that the new government will think about the people, who live in fear of daily bomb attacks and suffer from the lack of jobs. Mr. Ahmed says he hopes the new parliament will stabilize the security situation so that people feel safe and can have more economic opportunities.

The owner of a restaurant along the Tigris River, Mohammed Hussein, says it is the dream of every Iraqi to have a government elected by the people. But he adds that this government should take care not to become a dictatorship, like the government before.

Many Iraqis acknowledge there are fears of a widening rift between the Shia and Kurdish groups that dominate the new parliament and Sunnis who are under-represented after boycotting the elections. But they say they are all Iraqis. And the country's new leadership should think of the country as a whole, rather than as a collection of disparate regions with particular interests.

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