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One of the candidates running for the elections, from one of the popular areas in Basra, southern Iraq, appears alongside Hussein Al-Shahmani, calling, through a videotape, published on social media, for his election.

Al-Shahmani, the owner of the phrase “You will be dismantled”, is a person who has gained fame among the visual circles, through his frequent controversial appearances in video clips on social media, which followers claim “offends the culture of Basra.”

This candidate is not the only one who uses a well-known person on social media to promote his electoral campaign, in the context of preparing for the elections scheduled for October 10.

The easiest way

Commenting on the appearance of a candidate next to al-Shahmani, Sheikh Imad Hatem, one of the elders of al-Hayaniya district, said that “a number of candidates in Basra Governorate, especially in popular areas, resorted to celebrities on various social media sites for the purpose of presenting their electoral propaganda, after they were resorting to the clan. Previously”.

He continues: “It is better not to include the clan in the electoral promotion, and to take advantage of social influence to force the citizens to elect certain people and not others.”

During the past hours, a picture spread of one of the female candidates, who placed a bag full of voter cards in front of her, to express that one of the clans that hosted her will vote for her on polling day, which sparked wide reactions on social media.
We are the grassroots

Hussain Mukhles, an electoral campaigning official for one of the candidates for the elections in Basra province, says that “the appearance of the candidates with people known to the majority of Basra’s society gives the impression that there are those who want to reach the popular bases that suffer from neglect and loss.”

Mukhles continues in his conversation with (Raise Your Voice), “It is not a shame that the candidates’ advertisements are through celebrities, or those who have a voice, and it is not a shame that the candidate goes to the simplest and most popular way, which is (Tik Tok), to introduce his electoral platform, because he wants to He defines himself for young people through their diaries, not through posters and banners that may turn into trash a week after they are lifted.”

Commenting on the same issue, activist Saif Hamed (25 years) says that “there are more effective ways for the public to interact with election candidates, whether in Basra or other provinces.”

“Establishing cultural forums, introducing the electoral program through them, and having interactive platforms between candidates and voters, are the most expressive ways of expressing the desire to have political action, but appearing with personalities with question marks and controversy is not in the interests of the candidates.”

He goes on to say: “The youth of Basra are waiting for direct meetings with them, and they want their voices and demands to be heard correctly. There are many visions and ideas that bear the concerns of the Basra people, and they will not be reduced to a fleeting meeting, but rather need real workshops, with goals and contents that affect the community.” Al-Basri, and his categories of doctors, lawyers and craftsmen, so we hope that the candidates will have a greater role in listening to the voice of the electorate.”

Activist Shaima Ali, 34, says that “the women of Basra are the most affected in every electoral cycle, as there is no one to talk to students, graduates, or owners of humanitarian projects.”

Ali adds to (Raise Your Voice), “We were subjected to various types of threats and killings, and Basra activists were subjected to accusations of employment and treason, which caused societal isolation for us, and we became rejected by many social segments, without this matter being among the priorities of the election candidates.”

She concludes, “We want to communicate our grievances, through direct meetings with the candidates, not through secondary parties. Here, the women of Basra, we suffer from societal isolation and a repulsive work environment, so is there a Nasser?”

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