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  • Nearly 7,000 candidates are running for parliament here in Iraq.

  • And after the winners are chosen

  • the new government including the Prime Minister and president will be selected.

  • It is the first election since Islamic state militants were all but completely driven out of Iraq.

  • Giving many hope for recovery under a newly-formed leadership

  • Many people we talked to here say they are dispirited by decades of wars and economic crises.

  • Some say they do not plan to vote

  • because they believe their system is so corrupt that new politicians won't make a difference.

  • Yes it's a desperate situation.

  • Nothing will be changed.

  • The results are already settled for the ones that are famous for corruption.

  • But some candidates say replacing old politicians is the only way to address some of the public's most pressing needs:

  • jobs, security, and economic growth.

  • I want to wage war against the corruption.

  • We have more corruption than we should in the parliament and the government facilities

  • Some analysts say alliances have shifted internationally and within Iraq.

  • And the new Parliament will have a difficult time agreeing on a new government.

  •  Traditionally, Iraq's top leadership not only has to have support from within

  • but from international powers like the United States and Iran:

  • both Iraqi allies and international rivals.

  • Security is expected to be tight here in the coming days and through the elections as militants have made threats against the polls.

  • But locals say they are not afraid here because after the near defeat of Islamic state militants last year,

  • they say they feel safer than they have in years

  • Reporting from Baghdad in Iraq, I'm Heather Murdoch, VOA news.

Nearly 7,000 candidates are running for parliament here in Iraq.

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