BAGHDAD: PROTESTS AGAINST ELECTION RESULTS TURN VIOLENT

Protests against the Iraqi parliamentary polls erupted in the capital city of Baghdad. Recent Parliamentary elections turned violent with demonstrators denouncing fraud and clashing with police forces in the capital’s high-security ‘green zone’. Pro-Iranian groups suffered large losses in the polls and they retaliated by throwing stones at security forces, who fired tear gas and shot to the air to control and disperse the crowd.  It was reported that two protesters were killed in the clash but no official information has been passed through.

 

On October 10, the parliamentary polls showed an unbeatable win for influential Shi’a leader Moqtada al-Sadr who won 73 seats. He maintains his as the largest group in Iraq’s 329 member parliament. Having won 48 seats in the last parliamentary elections, the Conquest (Fatah) Alliance only won 15 seats this time, bringing their strength down from being the second largest bloc. The announced numbers are only based on preliminary results. The voting turnout stood at 41%, which was the lowest following the US invasion in 2003 and the fall of Saddam Hussein. “So many people in the streets say that they do not believe in this electoral process, because it’s only reproducing the same old parties,” says a journalist from an international media house. 

 

The current elections were called in after protests that demanded a change, as complaints rose that Iraq was beholden to Iran.

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