On Thursday, the president of Iraq approved a new election law about giving political independents a better opportunity of taking places in parliament, which facilitate the way for early elections next year.
President, Barham Saleh, affirmed the necessity for the free, fair, and transparent election, which would return the confidence of Iraqi citizens in the legitimacy of the process.
In fact, the new law changes each province of the country that are 18 provinces into many electoral districts and prevents parties from candidating on unified lists; actually, in the past, that served them easy take all the seats in a specific province. So, the posts would go to whoever gets the greatest votes in the electoral districts.
Furthermore, making a new election law has been an important demand of the hundreds of thousands of protesters in Baghdad and the predominantly Shia south since last year. The protesters appealed for stopping the endemic corruption by a political state that is largely seen as having spent the resources of Iraq via greed and mismanagement during the past years.
In the protests, there was a heavy military crackdown and hundreds were killed. The Iraqi president related that despite that the new law was not perfect, it indicated progress and had the potential to enable future reforms. He also appealed for the rapid respect of remaining conditions required to hold elections, including biometric voter registration and reforming the electoral commission.
Otherwise, a conflict about the mechanism to replace retired judges at the Federal Supreme Court, which is the body that controls constitutional disputes, remains needs to be settled before the holding of the elections.
Saleh said in a speech Thursday: We have to create a political climate which will help alleviate this suffering, as well as ensuring justice and integrity during the choosing of a strong government. He also said: This is what we aspire to, through an electoral law which will enable Iraqis from all walks of life to vote and to participate in elections, God willing, without the historical problems of forgery, manipulation and pressure.
Although the objections of certain political parties, earlier this week, Iraq’s Parliament approved the final version of the new law. The 329-member chamber was elected in May 2018, and the vote is held every four years; however the protesters are demanding early elections.
On the other hand, and according to a security statement, in Diyala province, north of Baghdad, at least three women were killed and three policemen were injured in twin explosions on Thursday.
The Security Media Cell, which is affiliated with the armed forces, reported that the women died when a motorcycle bomb blasted. In a second explosion, the policemen died when they arrived at the scene of the first blast. Any state wasn’t immediate claim its responsibility for the assault. Fighters loyal to ISIS, which was defeated in Iraq in late 2017, have recently intensified attacks in the area.