Politics & Economics

Iraq: Electoral candidates using songs as political tools for their campaigns

Iraq

The main political blocs running in the 2018 parliamentary elections are seeking citizens' votes by advertising their campaigns through songs.

Candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iraq are finding creative ways to advertise their campaigns, after seeing plastered advertisements being torn down by citizens.

As of April 11th 2018, the campaigning period for candidates in the Iraqi elections has begun, and will continue until the election that is set to be held on 12th of May 2018.

On the morning of April 11th, cities, towns and villages all across Iraq had their billboards, bridges, and electricity poles covered with faces of candidates running for public office. In some cities, candidates’ pictures covered the images of fallen heroes, sparking citizens’ anger, and leading them to tear down the candidates’ images. As a result, many have sought to appeal to the citizens’ hearts and minds through other means: songs and music videos.

The songs that have been produced seek to reveal the candidates’ and coalitions’ position and political ideology.

Some candidates from the Fatah Coalition used images and poetry reminding the people of the battles against ISIS that some of the coalition’s groups fought, referring to battalions from the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU).

Others such as the Wataniyah Coalition filmed a professional-made music video at one of their headquarters in order to promote their image as a campaign with a large following seeking to establish a strong state.

The Nasr Coalition headed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi decided to use nationalistic and patriotic rhetoric in its songs and music in order to transcend ethnic and sectarian identity, and reflect the diverse fabric of Iraqi society.

While the Nasr Coalition decided to make an all-incorporating song, al-Qarar al-Iraqi headed by Usama al-Nujaifi wanted to highlight their candidate’s strong base and following in Mosul in their ‘musical’ campaign.

With less than 20 days left until the election, candidates are creatively producing campaign marketing schemes ranging from posters, to songs, to giving out groceries with their faces plastered on the bags.