The Voting Wounded

Steven Lee Myers reports on an Iraqi class teaching political candidates how to run for office. One candidate:

Karim Radhi al-Khafaji lifted his sleeve and unbuttoned his shirt to show the horrific scars he bears from an explosion in a market in 2006. He limps badly. He’s the head of an organization that advocates for those the war has left wounded. “I consider myself the candidate for the disabled and the deprived and those who are marginalized,” he said during a break for tea.

He said 15 percent of Iraqis suffer handicaps – grievous injuries, missing limbs – compared with a world average of 2 percent, and yet they have no elected voice.

“We have not seen anyone pay attention to us, including the prime minister.”

From later in the piece:

The richer candidates hand out cash and blankets, several complained, speaking over each other at times. “The same people harmed by him are voting for him because he’s buying their souls,” Mr. Ahmed said, referring to one of the country’s two vice presidents, though he didn’t specify which. Sabieh Jabur al-Kaabi pointed that campaign posters are being torn down, though not of those of the top candidates that is, those with influence and power.