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“Nothing will change”…desperation and indifference ahead of the elections in Iraq

A few weeks separate the Iraqis from the parliamentary elections scheduled for the tenth of next October, but there is no clear enthusiasm among the youth in the country. Many Iraqis consider that all the candidates’ programs are limited to “promises” that will not be implemented, while very few see a window of hope for the improvement of their country’s conditions through the elections.

While large pictures and posters of candidates from various political blocs and independents in the framework of the early elections campaign spread in public squares and main roads in Baghdad, and in all cities of the country, observers saw that the participation rate in the upcoming elections will be lower compared to the last one that It took place in 2018.

, especially since many young people do not see a reason for them to vote, or participate in those early legislative elections that were set under pressure from protesters’ demands during the October 2019 protests instead of their scheduled date. In 2022, it was considered at the time one of the few concessions made by the authorities to the protesters who came out to reject the rampant corruption and the lack of public services in Iraq.

“Nothing will change”…desperation and indifference ahead of the elections in Iraq

Pictures of candidates for the Iraqi elections hang in the streets (archive – AFP)

“Why am I voting?”

Commenting on this scene, one of the young men called Sajjad told AFP, “I see the pictures of the candidates, but I don’t know their names or their programs.”

The young employee added In a company while sitting with his friends in a café in the capital, “they all have the same programme. We will do this and do this, but they are all just promises.”

The same parties!

In turn, Muhammad, who has a university degree in economics, and who knows two out of five candidates in his constituency, said that he was not convinced at all about the elections, because “it will not change anything.”

The young man asked The deteriorating living and economic conditions prompted him to postpone his marriage more than once: “Why do I vote when I do not receive even the most basic services?” He continued, “The voters either got jobs or vote for relatives or one of their clan.”

Iraqi elections (AFP)

“Nothing will change”…desperation and indifference ahead of the elections in Iraq

“Indifference and despair”

While the Iraqi researcher Marcin Al-Shammari considered that the elections will take place in an atmosphere of “indifference and despair, especially among young people.”

It also warned that “the odds indicate that the percentage will be lower this time than the previous times.”

In turn, political analyst Saleh Al-Alawi expected that “the participation rate will not exceed 20 percent,” because “The reaction left by the popular protests”, especially because of the frustration they left behind at their failure to achieve their goals despite the sacrifices made by hundreds of activists and protesters who were kidnapped, assassinated, killed and hundreds wounded during confrontations.

الانتخابات العراقية (أرشيفية- رويترز)

الانتخابات العراقية (أرشيفية- رويترز) Iraqi elections (archive – Reuters)

Although no party has claimed responsibility for the assassinations and kidnappings, activists accuse Iran-backed armed factions of this, which has led Deny these factions

It is noteworthy that, in light of the political conditions in Iraq, it is difficult to predict which party will lead the elections, amid the great competition taking place, especially between the Sadrist movement led by Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr and the Al-Fateh Alliance represented by candidates backed by Factions close to Iran.

الانتخابات العراقية (أرشيفية- رويترز) Pictures of candidates for the Iraqi elections hang in the streets (archive – AFP)

The Independent Electoral Commission had earlier invited about 25 million voters to participate in the early elections in which more than 3,200 candidates are competing to win 329 seats, which is the total number of seats in the House of Representatives, of which 25 percent are allocated to women. The elections will be conducted according to a new electoral law that adopts closed electoral districts, so that nomination does not require affiliation in lists and can be limited to a limited number of candidates, according to the number of residents in each district. Political blocs to nominate dignitaries and prominent personalities within 83 electoral districts, but the situation often changes and new alliances are formed after the results are announced, which constitutes a change A view of the political blocs under the dome of Parliament.

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