Middle East

Iraqi hopes and fears for government

Iraqis, speaking to BBC Arabic's Faisal Irshaid, react to the agreement on forming a new government and describe their hopes and fears for their country.

Namek Marouf, retired engineer

I see a glimmer of hope in the recent results. In this government there are good elements that are calling for a change.

Most of the MPs have high experience in policy-making and governance in comparison to the previous parliament. The previous government did not have the political maturity required to reach a political solution to the Iraqi crisis. I think that if the new government insisted on change and reform and insisted on the points promised in their platforms we will see noticeable change in the situation in Iraq.

Yes, there will be stability, why not! All the foundations of stability are there; you have a functioning police force and an established army. All that is left is a government with a progressive vision, which is the case now. Looking at previous governments, none was able to give any assurances to the Iraqi people. However this government has the intention to change and I personally believe this is the first step in the right direction.

Corruption unfortunately it exists at all levels and government departments. This is an old problem facing Iraq, but with the help of the Iraqi people, I can see a bright future for Iraq.

Hamza Mustafa, political analyst

I don't think we'll be seeing significant changes in Iraq in the near future. The blocs and parties that have won represent factions of the society on a sectarian and tribal basis rather than political ideology or agenda.

The agreement on the government has delivered the same faces that have been in power for years.

Political programmes that were announced as part of wide political reforms ended up being nothing but ineffective phrases and symbols. It is hard to see how we are going to see progress in the provision of services, investment and security and political stability.

The only positive thing is that this government is a government of partnership and not a political majority one; it includes most of the components of the political, ethnic, and sectarian groups.

Everything depends on the intentions of the politicians and the nature of the political agenda and the agreements concluded between the parties and political blocs. It is important to say the government has agreed unanimously on the need for reconstruction and investment, and if it concentrates on that that you will see positive things.

But still, the security establishment and the Iraqi military are incapable of dealing with the armed groups that have taken advantage of the chaos in our country.

Saleem, doctor

The performance of the government depends on the performance of its members. There are some who will work to satisfy certain factions within the society depending on their sectarian loyalties, and tribal affiliations. Unfortunately, you cannot satisfy all the people; and whoever is not included in the government will attempt to disrupt its work and the average citizen is always the victim. Usually the opposition criticises current governments until they themselves are the ruling.

It is very likely that this government will become a corrupt one; one that creates militias that kill and destroy any hope for Iraq.

The existence of an effective government is impossible; these politicians are the same since the fall of the former regime, all of whom work for themselves or their group. Many people left their homes and became displaced, which previous governments did nothing about. In terms of security and stability the next generation will suffer even more.

Whatever the name of the government or the nature of its participants it will not succeed because of external agendas; the region as a whole does not want Iraq to become stable - how can the Iraqis themselves prevent this from happening!

On a different note, half of the budget goes to Iraq's army and police, nonetheless security is still very precarious and will not change whether in this government or the near future. We keep on hearing about contractual agreements aiming at solving the electricity problem, but without any results, all due to lack of transparency. If MPs don't understand the suffering of the nation, no change will take place.

Dr Zuhair al-Jazaeri, author

This is a big disappointment to the voters who participated with great enthusiasm to cast their ballots. People clearly doubt that the next government can change and reform. People have lost hope or confidence in any government and its ability to practise democracy.

I personally believe this government in its present form is a crisis government and not one of stability or national partnership, and therefore I do not think it is able to continue effectively.

The presence of a hung parliament is in itself an indication that any future government will face problems in implementing decisions and policies. Instead of utilising the parliament to help people, it has become a tool for politicians and parties to fulfil their agenda at the expense of the citizens.

I expect that there will be no substantial difference in the bigger picture. Most of the political activity will take place outside the parliament through political bloc meetings. There seems to be some kind of agreement on the sharing of ministerial seats, but the question remains to what extent this agreement will meet the aspirations of the parties.

The distribution of security responsibilities is a reasonable solution to allow different parties to participate in governance, but this issue will be politically difficult.

So far, the parliament has been unable to provide any services or stability. The new government might be able to control the levels of violence, but if you want to solve the problem completely, you need some kind of exchange of power between the politicians and other groups represented in government.