Proposed election law sparks protests in Iraq’s capital

Baghdad –

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Baghdad on Monday to denounce a draft election law that could widen the size of the country’s constituencies and undermine independent candidates.

With the 2021 elections in place, current law divides each of the country’s 18 states into a number of electoral districts. The law was a key requirement for the massive anti-government demonstrations that began in late 2019 and was seen as giving independent candidates a chance at victory.

Last week, Congress debated the draft. This brings Iraq back to having her one constituency per governorate. Independent lawmakers who opposed the proposal walked out of a session that ended early due to a loss of quorum.

Parliament was due to discuss the proposed legislation again in its session on Monday, but lawmakers voted to postpone the discussion until Saturday.

The return to single districts by province is the coalition of Iran-backed political parties that formed a majority in the current parliament and brought Prime Minister Mohammed Shire al-Sudani to power last year. Underpinned by a coordination framework.

Monday’s protests came as strong security forces surrounded the parliament building and closed the Jumkhoriya Bridge over the Tigris River, which leads to the heavily fortified Green Zone government quarters.

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