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Iraq - March 2023

Parliament approves electoral law amendments sparking controversies

On 27 March, the Parliament of Iraq passed amendments to the electoral law proposed last month, with 275 of 329 legislators voting in favour. The amendments will restore the electoral law of 2018, which provided for one electoral district for each of Iraq’s 18 provinces – a significant reduction from the current 83 electoral districts. The vote was met with outrage from Iraqi opposition and independent lawmakers, who warned that this could spark a new wave of unrest. The current electoral system was adopted in response to the Tishreen mass protests of 2019 and considered one of the major gains from the movement, favouring the emergence of independent candidates and smaller political forces.

Iraq’s first provincial council elections in a decade are expected to take place on 6 November, and the new electoral law will be applied during the vote. This has raised concerns as Iraq’s established and ruling parties, widely criticized for rampant corruption, will likely further entrench their hold on power.  

Sources: Reuters, Al Jazeera, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, International IDEA Democracy Tracker, Middle East Monitor


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