Iraq has held four elections and one referendum since the U.S.-led war a decade ago brought multiparty democracy here. Local elections are to be held next month and a national vote next year.
But local elections are not trouble-free. Amid sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi'ites, they have been postponed for six months in two provinces because of unrest by Sunnis who feel marginalized by the current government.
Political analyst Taha Jallo Mare of the Center for Political Analysis says security has improved despite the continuing violence. But the tensions still threaten Iraq's stability.
政治分析中心的政治分析家Taha Jallo Mare说，尽管暴力仍在继续，但安全已经改善。但紧张局面仍威胁着伊拉克的稳定。
"The political situation and the sectarian parties have the power to push the people into conflict. The people are patient and peaceful, but, if the conflict worsens, they will take sides in order to protect themselves.
Some Iraqis have become cynical about their young democracy. They say the war replaced one dictator with many dictators.
1.iron-clad n. 铁壳，金属覆层
eg. All these documents are iron - clad proofs that Kuomintang troops have attacked the Liberated Areas.
2.referendum n. 公民投票权；外交官请示书
eg. In the referendum many people abstained.
3.sectarian adj. 宗派的；偏狭的；党派心强的
eg. Cadres should guard against sectarian tendencies.
4.marginalize vt. 排斥；忽视；使处于社会边缘；
eg. My view is students marginalize classes like that.
5.cynical adj. 愤世嫉俗的；冷嘲的
eg. He was cynical that any good could come of democracy.
6.dictator n. 独裁者；命令者
eg. Finally, they threw down the dictator.