Iraqi parliament dissolves itself ahead of election

File – Iraqi Council of Representatives

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Iraqi Council of Representatives dissolved itself on Thursday, three days before the national polls, according to a previous decision.

Iraqi parliament’s speaker Mohammad al-Halbousi said on Wednesday that the parliament would dissolve itself on Thursday in accordance with the March parliament’s decision.

More than 170 lawmakers voted to dissolve the Iraqi council of representatives on March 31.

“Tomorrow, the fourth parliamentary session ends, and the people will choose their representatives on October 10,” Halbousi said.

Iraqi voters are to elect a new parliament next Sunday in the fifth such vote since a U.S.-led invasion toppled dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Two days before polling day, voting will be organized for security forces, displaced citizens and prisoners. This year nationals living abroad will not be voting.

A total of 329 seats are up for grabs in the election, which was moved forward from 2022 as a concession to youth-led pro-democracy protests that erupted in late 2019.

There are fears voter turnout could drop below the 44.5 percent figure registered in 2018.

More than 25 million citizens are eligible to vote. They are supposed to present a biometric card for what was conceived as a fully electronic voting process.

More than 3,240 candidates are in the running, including 950 women.

One quarter of seats are reserved for female candidates, and nine for minorities including Christians and Yazidis.

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