Iraqis cast their votes in early parliamentary elections, two years after a wave of anti-government protests swept the country.
The participation rate wasn’t as expected
Hours before the polls closed, the official Iraqi news agency quoted the head of the High Electoral Commission. Jalil Adnan, as saying that the participation had exceeded one-third.
Viola von kramon, the head of the EU observer group, described the participation rate as “low”.
She told the reporters that the decline in participation was
“a clear political indicator”
Following the end of the poll, the Supreme Electoral Security Commission said it had issued strict orders to security authorities in the capital Baghdad and the governorates to tighten security and protection around polling stations, registration centers, and the Independent Electoral Commission’s warehouses.
Opportunities for change are limited
Under the headline
“Early legislative elections in Iraq amid the dominance of traditional parties and voter frustration”
Iraqi newspaper Al-Zaman said, “amid suffering the consequences of successive wars, chronic corruption, and poverty despite oil wealth, Iraqis, including 25 million voters, look with suspicion and indifference to the elections being held under a new electoral law.”
Technical problems arose at some polling stations.
In Anbar province, a reliable source confirmed that several electoral centers have registered cases of not appearing the voter’s Fingerprint on voting machines despite having a biometric card. Which means they don’t have permission to vote.
The voting machines are very sensitive, they stop as soon as they are moved or there is a power outage or malfunction.
It also requires entering a PIN when attempting to restart it. This number can only be obtained from the operations center in the capital Baghdad.
Attempts to contact the operations center were ongoing. but all lines were busy without a response. And as a result, Some voters had to return home after a long wait.
Members of the security forces, displaced persons, and prisoners cast their votes in an early vote.
The capital Baghdad has seen increased security measures outside polling stations.
Security forces marched through Baghdad’s streets, setting off sirens and music and calling on voters to head to polling stations.
Loudspeakers broadcast calls saying:
“Voting leads to the realization of your demands.”
U.S. administration is comfortable organizing Iraq elections peacefully
The US administration expressed its satisfaction at the peaceful organization of the Iraqi elections under international control.
“We congratulate the Iraqi government for maintaining its commitment to organizing early elections”
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
The chairman of the commission’s Board of Commissioners, Jalil Adnan Khalaf, revealed at a press conference in Baghdad that the total number of participants in the elections amounted to 9077770.
Iran’s arms in Iraq face political impasse
In what appeared to be the first reaction of political forces and armed factions close to Iran to the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections.
A number of their leaders declared their absolute rejection of the results. And stated that they would do everything to cancel them.
According to this, it could mean that Iran and the forces close to it may begin an escalation phase inside Iraq, bypassing the results of parliamentary elections that could remove it from power altogether.
The semi-official preliminary results of elections in Iraq resulted in a defeat for parties who see themselves as the political wings of the PMU factions and Pro-Iranian armed groups.
The preliminary results revealed a significant decline in the parliamentary seats won by Tehran’s arms. Even without achieving the minimum they expected.
The Fatah coalition, led by PMU leader Hady al-Ameri, won only 14 parliamentary seats, up from 48 in the previous parliamentary composition.
While the national party list led by PMU chairman Faleh Al-Fayyad got only 4 seats. And the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades supported the “RIGHTS” party got only one parliamentary seat.
Al-Amiri rejected the preliminary results of the elections, calling them fabricated, announcing that he will do everything possible to cancel these results.
Is there a real chance of change or will control remain for the same political blocs?
Many people have expressed optimism about political changes on the ground amid the dominance of certain blocs in Iraq, while others saw popular participation as the key to successful elections.