A group of activists wanting to promote humanitarian issues ran in last weekend's local elections. "We decided to run in the elections to… promote humanitarian needs," said activist Basil al-Azawi. Al-Azawi's Baghdad-based Commission for Civil Society Enterprises, which acts as an umbrella group for over 1,000 local NGOs, sponsored three lists of independent candidates representing NGO activists in central Iraq. They put up 83 candidates in all. Al-Azawi said they were prompted to act by the absence of government support for NGOs and the lack of funds to implement their programs. (IRIN)

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