Iraqi parliament passes controversial vote law amendments

File – Members of Iraqi Council of Representatives attend a session of parliament in Baghdad.

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi lawmakers passed early Monday controversial amendments to the country’s election law that could undermine the chances for smaller parties and independent candidates to win seats in future polls.

The amendments increase the size of electoral districts, a move widely backed by the Coordination Framework, a coalition of Iran-backed parties.

The bill passed in a 206-12 vote in the 329-seat assembly, according to media reports. The remaining lawmakers were absent from the hourslong session, which started on Sunday night.

The amendments also reverse key articles passed ahead of the 2021 federal election and redraw the electoral maps to have Iraq return to one electoral district per each governorate.

Several Iraqi political blocs and independent parliamentarians had rejected the amendments and stalled the vote for weeks.

Independent lawmakers who objected to the law walked out of a previous session, causing it to be postponed due to a lack of quorum.

They also attempted to stall the vote again overnight by protesting and disturbing the count, before Iraqi security forces escorted them out of the assembly hall.

On Saturday, hundreds protested in Baghdad against the new amendments, while some protesters in other parts of Iraq blocked roads with burning tires.

“These amendments will only fortify the rulers in power and their corruption, and exclude independent and new political groups,” one of the protesters, Mohamed Al-Daami, told The Associated Press. He described the amendments as “unjust.”

Iraq’s provincial elections are scheduled for Nov. 6, the country’s first local vote in a decade. Independent candidates fear the elections under the new law will empower ruling parties, which they accuse of rampant corruption.

The Iraqi government has not yet scheduled the country’s next general elections.

(Esta Media Network/ The Associated Press)

Previous Article

Kurdistan Region's oil output at risk after Turkey halts pipeline exports

Next Article

Security service announces arrest of eight terrorists in Sulaimani

Related Posts