Sayyid Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), has stressed that the electoral process is the clearest testimonies to democracy, calling on the candidates of the Citizen Bloc to focus on their program, plans and vision without bothering about others. He explained that the Citizen Bloc will maintain the right to respond to anyone who confronts it and will put the public interest above its personal interest in this critical phase through which Iraq is passing. He addressed the members of the Movement of the Martyr of the Niche regarding the necessity of adorning themselves with patience and to put up with the policies of programmed targeting and not respond, which requires explaining the matters to people without being dragged into secondary feuds. He stressed that the elections provide an opportunity for the masses to express their will and an opportunity to make them feel that they are the ones who are the decision makers, regarding the high percentage of participation as a victory for Iraq and an expression of the people being tied to their democratic system and to the political process. This came up in the speech which His Eminence delivered in the Cultural Forum in Baghdad on Wednesday, February 27, 2013. 

Elections: A chance to replace those who could not prove their ability to provide services

His Eminence explained that the elections provide an opportunity to replace those who did not prove their ability to provide service, so they must be punished by replacing them with others. This will prompt everyone to provide the best. And it is an opportunity to reward those who provided and who served. He stressed that the principle of reward and punishment in the elections is a basic issue which will place matters on their right course. He pointed out that the elections provide an opportunity for the youths from the four generations that join the electoral process and grant them the right to vote, explaining that the elections are an opportunity to get to know the electoral programs, plans, projects and visions. He called on the entities that won the past elections and on the news media to remind people of what they had promised and to compare it with what has been implemented in order to make promises a big responsibility and to prevent making random promises, to demand the official to explain the reasons behind his failure. He stressed the necessity of broad participation in the elections as the best expression for people being tied to the democratic system and to the political process, regarding the high percentage of participation as success for Iraq regardless of who will win. He reminded the Iraqi people that the political system is not the government, the parliament or anyone else; rather, it means the state, and Iraq. Patriotism means broad participation. He pointed out that there are those who are angry, who have objections and reservations, but the relationship with individuals is one thing, while the relationship with Iraq is something else: Governments come and go and Iraq stays and so does the political process. 

Elections: an epic, not a battle; the first means competition, the second means conflict

The head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq stressed that the elections are an opportunity to elect those who provide service to people, who is adorned with attributes of integrity and ability as the wise religious Marji`iyya (highest religious authority) sees it. He warned that the nation must not punish itself by not participating in the elections and by permitting incompetent people to win again, pointing out that the broad participation is the public rewarding itself by giving itself the chance to say Yes or No. He pointed out to the anger which must push to participate and to elect the best and not the opposite. He explained that the elections are not a battle but an epic. He explained that in battles, people conflict, whereas in epics, people compete, and there is a big difference between the two. He added saying that the conflict means taunting, dropping and defaming, whereas competing means each side showing its good aspects, programs, plans and projects, acquainting people of itself, its history and capabilities. He called on the candidates to let people know their capabilities and visions, something which Iraq lacked in the past ten years. He regarded vision and planning as the magic key to solving problems and not how much the wealth or the budget is, warning about those candidates who do not have the proof, who depend on the principle of dropping, defaming and fishing in disturbed waters. He demanded the culture of the Iraqi street must be one without taunting or dropping, calling on the citizen not to elect such folks so that nobody would dare to follow the way of destroying the playground looking for his own self interests. 

Elect people the electing of whom will not bring about futile regret

His Eminence regarded the candidates or officials giving some presents from their own wealth as something which is counted in their favor, retracting that, “But anyone who gives government grants, jobs or official gifts, this is not a favor from anyone; rather, it is returning the right to its people.” He hinted that there are those who delay the opening of some completed projects, dragging them to the time of the elections so they may be credited to this team or that. He addressed the Iraqi citizens saying, “If gifts and favors are given to you, take them, for they are your right, and be aware of Allah and of your interests and look at whom you will vote for; choose people the electing of whom will not bring about regret when regret will be to no avail.” He stressed that the next governorate council elections are service and not political elections; therefore, the Iraqi people must not allow sectarian and political conflicts to be involved in them. He directed his address to the candidates of the citizen Alliance from among the members of the Movement of the Martyr of the Niche and their allies saying, “Because you have high patriotism, a clear plan, vision and program, you offered so much to ratify it, which is a scientific vision and not slogans raised.” 

Logic of “My governorate first” will create an integrated work team from which we set out to “My homeland first”

His Eminence called on candidates of the citizen Alliance to adhere to their program, to explain it to the public, and that their main concern should be the citizen and his expectations, pointing out to the necessity for the slogan of candidates of the Citizen alliance should be “My governorate first: its reconstruction and prosperity,” regarding the logic of “My governorate first” is the one that will create an integrated work team that sets out of “My governorate first” to “My homeland first.” He stressed that transparency, clarity and equal opportunities form one of the most important features of democracy. He called for not taking advantage of the state resources for this team or that, regarding rigging as one of the most worrisome matters and demanding the Commissioners Council in the Electoral Commission, the security authorities and the professional institutions to provide the clear picture and guarantees for the transparency and clarity of the electoral process.