Amman’s Optimism Demonstrates Potential of a New Iraq
By Brian Conley and Shadi Al’Kasim
Thursday, 22 December 2005
In Amman, Jordan the Iraqi election went off with little noticeable trouble. Currently there are approximately one million Iraqis seeking refuge in Jordan from the turmoil in Iraq. These same Iraqis went to the polls all over Amman in order to help peace return to their home country.
Ten schools in Amman were closed to facilitate the election process. Unlike the constitution referendum, Iraqis outside Iraq were permitted to participate in the process, just as they did in the January elections. 320,000 Iraqis participated in the election abroad in the recent election.
Jordan’s share of ballots from abroad was 31,000, the largest share of the vote. They were enthusiastic about their chance to elect Iraq’s first long-term governing body since the collapse of Saddam’s regime in 2003. Many said they voted to elect Iyad Allawi’s list. Others said they hoped the election would benefit their ethnic group.