Trying to understand whether the upcoming Provincial elections in Iraq will change the balance of power in the country, Paul Jay speaks to Leila Fadel, Baghdad Bureau Chief of McClatchy Newspapers. Discussing the various provinces, Fadel says that in places such as the Ninevah Province, the Kurdish and Arab tensions are rising to the surface and the ballot box will really change the power brokers there. In Diyala, a province that has been dominated by Shia politicians but mostly populated by Suni Muslims, a major shift may happen as this will be the first time Sunis will vote there. Another aspect of the power structure in Iraq will become clear in relation to the power of the Sadrist movement as it has been “unclear how much the Sadr movement lost power,” says Fadel. It is clear though that the standard of life and the price of oil have not changed and that most in Iraq are frustrated with the current government and are going to express their disenchantment at the polls.

Leila Fadel

Leila Fadel is the chief of the Baghdad bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She has covered the war in Iraq for Knight Ridder and now McClatchy on and off since June 2005, as well as the 34-day war in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Israel in the summer of 2006. Prior to joining the McClatchy team she worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as a crime and higher education reporter.

Fadel graduated from Northeastern University in Boston in 2004 and has lived in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. She speaks conversational Arabic. She was named print journalist of the year by the Houston Press Club for her work in 2005 and won a Katie Award from the Dallas Press Club in 2006 for her portfolio of work.

Her Iraq reporting won her Print Journalist of the Year honors from the Houston Press Club citing her work from "Bedford (Texas) to Baghdad."