A. "The Next Election and the Responsibility of Voters" (Al-Fourat - independent, anti-coalition, published this front-page editorial by Jaber Mohammad Jaber)
"All of us, as partners in this country, have agreed on the necessity of national unity but let us wait and see the political platforms of the lists and alliances before we pronounce analysis on them. We don't want the past election mistakes to be repeated and if the political process that America has marketed to us is according to its new definition of globalization, then the past three years of democratic experiments have led to many Iraqi citizens being well-informed--to help mitigate repeat mistakes and control their emotions during voting in the next elections.
"Dreams and promises have been made by the former government calling on us to wait and judge with our mind before we choose candidates and lists. People are sick and tired of ethnic divisions and sectarianism dividing us. Therefore, let us abandon those and look to the political entities that are here to serve our country and its people-but they should be honest in their political platforms and should avoid external pressure.
"If those [Shi'a] parties prepare their platforms within the context of Iraq's reality and without relying on religious names or authorities, and if they don't put their limited factional interests as their primary goal, then they will find the complete support of the people. The principle of putting the suitable man in the convenient position is considered a right step towards building a new Iraq."
B. "The Attitude of the Religious Authorities" (As-Sabah - Iraqi Media Network, pro-coalition, published this front-page editorial by Mohammad Abdul Jabbar)
"The electoral battle over the formation of an elected National Assembly began when the religious authorities announced they would not support any specific political group at the expense of other political parties. Instead, the religious authorities have urged wide participation in the election.
"Ayatollah Ali Al-SISTANI's deputy, Sheikh Abdul Mahdi Al- Karbala'ee, declared that the religious authorities will not support any political party in the upcoming election. But, it will urge Iraqis to participate in it; he also stressed that voters should freely choose their candidates. Al- Karbala'ee has called for the Shiites to actively participate in the election and criticized those who boycotted the referendum. On the other hand, Prime Minister Ibrahim Al-Ja'fari said that Al-SISTANI will not support any specific party but that he supports the electoral process because it is a modern phenomenon that will ensure social justice. In addition, Al-SISTANI will not interfere in the details of any electoral list.
"The religious authorities are now neutral concerning the political competition for legislative and executive powers. I believe that this is a wise attitude that will distance the religious authorities from the daily work of politics. However, they are not neutral when it comes to forming the government since they urged citizens to participate in the electoral process. This is another wise position because it demonstrates the religious authorities' concern for all people without any bias towards a specific group. The impartiality in the political competition and the clarity of their position will guarantee democracy and the honesty of this competition. In this way, voters will negate influences that affect political competition. Moreover, this will ensure the government's neutrality in the election."
C. "The Iraqi National List. Building a Strong Iraq is the Goal" (Baghdad - pro-coalition, affiliated with the Iraqi National Accord led by Iyad Allawi, published this front-page unattributed editorial) "The Iraqi people and members of the civilized world yesterday welcomed the establishment of the Iraqi National List which will have a big role in Iraq's future. This list aims to unite Iraqis and save the country from crises and the deterioration of security and essential services. This list represents a new political trend that rejects the regression to the dark ages of slavery.
"This list will give humans the right to freely express their opinions without marginalizing others. We must say goodbye to talismans and political ploys because they are not suitable for the new Iraq and its noble goals; we are dependent upon development and creativity to build reliable Iraqi characteristics. Dr Iyad Allawi has confirmed that Iraqis need a strong Iraq so that it can play an active role in the region. Thus, Iraq will be a stable and prosperous anchor for the whole region. The Iraqi National List believes that all Iraqis are equal in rights and duties and it warns of sectarian conflicts. This list hopes to build a strong government that is able to respect rights and defend the country.
"Dr. Iyad Allawi and his colleagues in this struggle now have a chance to make a difference in the new dawn in Iraq. The Iraqi National List makes its way through difficulties for the sake of building a new and democratic Iraq. This list emphasizes that it is important for Iraq to have an active role in the international community, Iraq also must have good relationships with neighboring Arab and Islamic countries.
"The Iraqi National List, rejects sectarianism, marginalization and ethnic power sharing. This list relies on the Iraqi people and its unity. Today Iraqis hope that this list would win the election as it corresponds with their wishes and anticipations. This list has also included the elite of Iraq's patriotic figures."
D. "This Time Our Votes Will Be Decisive" (Ad-Da'wa - affiliated with Ad-Da'wa (led by Al-Anzi), no bias, published this page-five editorial by Rasim Qassim)
"The Iraqi people will head for the ballot boxes for the third time by the end of this year to choose a real representative National Assembly that will achieve their legitimate demands and ambitions. This time, our voting will be based on awareness and experience.
"One year will soon pass since the first electoral process was held in Iraq and the Iraqi people have realized who will serve and provide them with decent standards of living. "This time, the Iraqi people's votes will not be wasted because they will not vote just for the sake of participating in the election. The Iraqi people realize that their votes are precious and for this reason their decision must be studied.
"Now, after we have established the basis of the permanent constitution it will be the main platform for advancement. This constitution is the first one in Iraq's modern history and it will place Iraq on the route of democracy and security. Here, we call on our people to be loyal to Iraq first because this is the way to unite our country and put an end to the enemies of freedom and human rights.
"For this reason, political parties and alliances must carefully select their candidates and representatives in the upcoming election. Patriotic Iraqi figures who want to compete in the election must understand that the people have experienced the democratic process for almost a year. Through this year, the Iraqi people were able to diagnose faults. Iraqi citizens have become experienced in political affairs and therefore their votes will make a difference in the new Iraq's history. This is the first step toward establishing democracy and political stability."
E. "Iraq Under Siege.!" (Az-Zaman - independent, anti-coalition, published this back- page editorial by Fatih Abdul Salam (brother of the paper's Editor-in-Chief)
"Iraq has remained under siege by the sanctions of the ruling regime-these sanctions have affected the people more than the regime. Some members of the regime have made a fortune through sanctions and trading.
"Iraq today is not so far from the U.S. siege, because everything is under the control of the American occupation forces. No security, economic, or political agenda can move freely without the green light from the U.S. forces which number 161,000.
"Iraqi politicians are under U.S. siege which rarely provides for the interest of Iraqis, but in reality is tied to the vision of politicians who need to balance their speech in order not to be accused of being against democracy, especially under the submissiveness and loyalty to the American vision.
"Simple Iraqi citizens are daily living at the mercy of the U.S. military and its convoy movements which limit Iraqis to certain roads-if they deviate or make a mistake they may lose their life at the hands of frightened U.S. soldiers who open fire.
"A complete, or near-complete, democratic experiment cannot be built in such a heated atmosphere because the democracy is not like a tribal or sectarian uprising that occurs in self defense. Therefore, democratic slogans are not enough to encourage the practice of democracy. Democracy needs a correct structure for ideas and ideologies in order to be implemented.
"In fact, we are still under siege. This siege is not only from U.S. tanks, but also on behalf of the parties that they have brought with them--and they disregarded those parties' violation against democracy above all else."
F. "Political Alliances and Scales of Power" (Ad-Dustoor - independent, no bias, published this front- page editorial by Bassim Al-Shiekh)
"Changes that have occurred in political parties entering the next elections have dramatically revolutionized all views of political analysts and observers of the Iraqi political scene, and confirmed the everlasting fact that politics is the art of the possible, an art of setting priorities rather than rights. And that the opportunistic saying, `play to win' is most common among all different ethnic, political, and sectarian groups. All alliances formed today have demonstrated that contestants have realized their true abilities through the previous elections which have led them to change their game plan, since knowing one's ability and playing accordingly is the most important factor for success.
"So we see that parties that ran independently in the previous elections, supported by an illusion based on inaccurate information that they were components to play the game unilaterally, have entered alliances to become part of a stronger entity. All of these changes have resulted in a new political chart with a certain alliance seeming to have a larger chance for success than others and with an understanding that the main requirements in the democratic practice is to realize the strengths and weaknesses and form alliance accordingly. But again, we also see many parties who refuse to acknowledge these facts and maintain their individual course that wipes out their chances of entering the parliament, overlooking the option of uniting their efforts into one channel that could lead them to success."