World Bulletin / News Desk
As Iraq proceeds with its first elections since the U.S. withdrawal in 2011, political tensions run high in the country. Not only do ethnic and religious groups find themselves at opposite ends of the political spectrum, but even some families have been divided on who to vote for.
One particular family in Nasiriyah, the Al-Ameen family, have produced two candidates - a brother and a sister - both running for the same seat with opposing parties. While Haifa runs for a left-wing party, her brother Haidar is running for the local Islamist party.
"My political activity and my leftist, liberal views have led me to join this [political] alliance," Haifa told Radio Free Europe.
Admitting that she had debated with her brother on his political views a number of times, Haifa said "I had hoped that Haider would enter [the elections] alongside me in the Civil Democratic Alliance, but in the end I respect his choice and his wishes."
Haidar on the other hand said "I'm happy that my sister has entered [on behalf of] the Communist Party, representing the democracy movement, while I have entered with a bloc that I feel represents me."
"I don't feel that this has harmed the family or our society in any way. We both agreed during a sit-down session at home that I would give her my vote and she would give me hers, in order to show everyone that competition [is secondary to] the spirit of sibling love," he added.
Iraqis began heading to the polls at 4am (GMT) to elect 328 parliamentarians. Some 20 million Iraqis are eligible to cast ballots.
The largest electoral bloc in Iraq's parliament has the right to nominate candidates for the premiership and for other senior cabinet posts.Last Mod: 30 Nisan 2014, 17:51