Overview of Iraqi elections

Ranj Alaaldin examines what is at stake in the Iraqi provincial elections.
He writes that millions of Iraqis will vote in elections that will select governing councils in 14 of Iraqs 18 provinces and play a critical role in determining the next direction the country takes. The electoral atmosphere is electric. Ordinary Iraqis find themselves part of an election frenzy that will culminate in a voting turnout that should eclipse those of previous elections.
The elections could make a catalytic change to the political makeup of the country. They will set the stage for the national elections in December and lead to the formation of new alliances. They will be a battle between religion and secularism, nationalism and federalism, status quo and change. They will also affect the fate of US troops in the country. Those troops are this time stepping back to put to the test the Iraqi security forces’ ability to independently oversee the elections.