Iraq holds parliamentary elections marked by abstentionism

The Iraqis they went to vote on Sunday, October 10, 2021, at a elections parliamentarians held months ahead of schedule and in concession to a youth-led popular uprising against corruption and mismanagement.

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However, the elections were marked by widespread apathy and a boycott by many of the young activists who filled the streets of Baghdad and the southern provinces of Iraq by the end of 2019. Tens of thousands of people participated in the mass protests and they confronted security forces, who fired bullets and tear gas at them. More than 600 people died and thousands were injured in a few months.

Although the authorities relented and summoned elections The anticipated death toll and harsh repression, as well as a series of targeted killings, prompted the people who participated in the protests to call for boycott elections.

The voting centers closed at 6:00 pm after a electoral journey 11 hours. The delivery of results is expected to take place within the next 24 hours, in accordance with the independent body that supervises the elections of Iraq. But the negotiations to elect a prime minister to form a government are very likely to drag on for weeks or months.

The elections They were the sixth to take place since the fall of Saddam Hussein after the invasion of Iraq headed by USA in 2003. Many people were skeptical that the independent candidates of the protest movement would have a chance before well-established political parties and politicians, many of them backed by powerful armed militias.

Minutes after the polls closed there was a fireworks show organized by the municipality of Baghdad in the iconic Tahrir Square, where protesters pitched tents for several months starting in October 2019. protests lost strength in February of the following year due to security measures and, subsequently, due to the pandemic of coronavirus.

At present the square is mostly empty. The country faces huge economic and security problems, and while most Iraqis want change, few expect it to happen as a result of the elections.

Muna Hussein, a 22-year-old film make-up artist, said she boycotted the elections because she did not think there was a safe environment, “with uncontrolled weapons everywhere,” referring to the militias, mainly Shiites, backed by the neighbor. Iran.

“In my opinion, it is not easy to carry out free elections and impartial under the current circumstances, ”he commented.

Amir Fadel, a 22-year-old car salesman, disagreed. “I do not want the same faces and the same parties to return,” he said after casting his vote in the district of Karradah, in Baghdad.

Prime Minister of Iraq, Mustafa al Kadhimi, whose probability of obtaining a second term will be determined by the results of the elections, he exhorted Iraqis to go to the polls in large numbers.

“Get out there and vote, and change your future,” Al Kadhimi said, repeating the phrase “get out” three times before casting his vote at a school in the fortified Green Zone of Baghdad, which houses foreign embassies and government offices.

In accordance with the laws of IraqThe winner of Sunday’s election will choose the country’s next prime minister, but it is unlikely that any of the competing coalitions can secure a clear majority. That will require a long process of negotiations to elect a premier by consensus and reach an agreement on a new coalition government.

With AP information


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