Background and Goals for the Week of Nonviolence

October 10, 2008

The main purpose of LaOnf’s Third Week of Nonviolence will be a campaign to pave the way for Iraqi citizens to participate in the local elections in the governorates free from any and all pressures concerning how they vote.

LaOnf calls for laws that guarantee that the nomination and election of candidates will be according to an open list – a system that enables the Iraqi voters to select specific candidates when voting (not a closed list in which one votes only for a political party).

LaOnf calls upon all the political parties to present their programs to the Iraqi citizens, including information about:

  1. What plans they have to develop infrastructure in the governorate.
  2. What services they are going to provide in the governorate.
  3. What they will do to provide employment opportunities.
  4. Their thoughts about the roles of non-governmental organizations and how they plan to support them.
  5. Their thoughts on nonviolence as a means for addressing and solving problems; and what guarantees they would make that local government will not resort to violence when dealing with its citizens.
  6. Their position on basic principles of human rights, especially the issues of non-discrimination against women and respect for freedom of expression.

LaOnf’s campaign will discuss the violence that may accompany the elections; the roles of nongovernmental organizations and activists in the civil society during the election; and how the elections can be an effective and peaceful means for change.

LaOnf demands that the Iraqi police and the Iraqi army are the only forces responsible for protecting the election process, and they call upon these Iraqi forces to maintain neutrality so as to provide an opportunity for citizens to express their opinions freely through the ballot box. LaOnf demands that the occupation forces and other armed groups not interfere with the election process.

LaOnf’s campaign is committed to the principle of free choice by voters and their right to participate regardless of their sectarian or ideological background, religion or nationality; this right must be protected for all.
LaOnf’s campaign will avoid using any symbols of religion or ethnicity, and will focus on programs that benefit all citizens, regardless of their background. Those who participate should be committed to the principle of neutrality and should not participate on behalf of any political party or candidate for office.

Filed in: LaOnf

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