A candidate belonging to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s Nasr (Victory) Coalition, has been removed from the running because of a sex tape of her circulating on social media. The candidate, Dr. Intidhar Ahmed Jassim, submitted her resignation this morning but has insisted that the footage is fabricated and part of a conspiracy to defame her. Spokesman for the candidacy list, Hussein al-A’dily, told local news outlets that, “Every faction and coalition reserves the right to revoke the [membership] of any candidate who does not meet the laws and conditions. This female candidate has worked contrary to the laws of the Nasr Coalition.”
Intidhar Ahmed Jassim while showing great promise initially, broke a very strict Iraqi taboo but also a universal politics rule; don’t get caught with your pants down. Dr. Jassim works at al-Muntansaryah University in Baghdad as a professor of economic studies, she possesses a PhD in economics as well. She is married and they have 3 children together but the video shows her and another man together.
Dr. Jassim addressed her supporters and followers on Facebook saying, “Some fake pages, supported by some parties, talked about a fabricated and photo-shopped video to ruin my reputation. I don’t ever fall. Iraq progresses forward. I am sad for a great nation that believes the rotten fabrications of politicians. Everyone knows my family and knows my husband Dr. Sa’ad Salih al-Hamdani. I am the daughter of your country. I implore you do not listen to rumors.”
She initially claimed that there is no way the video could be her and asked skeptics to compare it to videos of her lecturing at the university but several hours later announced her resignation, defeated. She stated, “I present my resignation to his excellency the Prime Minister of Iraq and the head of the Nasr Coalition list Dr. Haider al-Abadi to also show my stance towards a public position, considering it a service to the homeland and the institution, not looking for position or money as my biggest post is being a pure Iraqi woman.”
While 329 seats in parliament are set aside for woman, that only makes twenty-five percent of the total seats. There have been multiple reports of harassment towards female candidates since the start of the campaign, especially over social media which is not surprising unfortunately. Recently a Kurdistan Democratic Party based female candidate had to defend her right to wear a dress at a private event deemed too short. She was quick to dismiss the cries of indecency saying the dress was, “nothing to be ashamed of.”
Featured Image Courtesy of Facebook