Early Iraqi parliamentary elections were held in Iraq on Sunday, October 10. The election was scheduled to take place in 2022 as usual, but the October 2019 uprising that toppled Adel Abdul Mahdi’s puppet government shifted the balance of power against the Iranian government and ousted the Kazemi government, and finally forced the Iraqi government to hold early elections in Iraq.
In previous periods, Iraqi elections were based on lists and in 18 constituencies in 18 provinces, in line with the interests of corrupt paramilitary groups affiliated with the Iranian regime. But the protesting youths and people this time, demanded that all 329 seats must be individual. But the now-dissolved corrupt parliament was forced with a slight setback to increase the constituencies to 83 for the election. Thus, it will not be easy for the parties and factions affiliated with the Iranian regime to seize all the seats.
For example, in non-urban areas under the tribal influence, the votes of a tribe are sometimes divided between several constituencies. In this way, a candidate is not easily able to ensure the vote of a tribe for himself by any bargain.
The official turnout in the 2018 election was 42.5%, but analysts said the actual figure was around 20%, which is now expected to be lower.
On this, AP reported: “Iraq saw a record low election turnout since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, the independent body that oversees the election said Monday. The preliminary results signal widespread dissatisfaction and distrust in this weekend’s vote for a new parliament.
“The Independent High Electoral Commission on Monday said preliminary results show turnout from Sunday’s election was 41 percent. That’s down from 44 percent in the 2018 elections, which was an all-time low.” (The Associated Press, October 11, 2021)
Absence of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in special voting on October 8:
Under Iraqi law, troops were required to cast their ballots two days before the general election on October 8. But Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) said the popular mobilization forces would not be covered by the law. The reason was that the IHEC had repeatedly asked the PMF to provide a list of its forces for the administrative procedure.
But the PMF refused. That was because more than half of its forces are fake, and the corrupt Iranian regime’s affiliated militant commanders receive salaries from the government under the name of these fake forces. Analysts say that this was a slap in the face of the Iranian government.
Most people decided to boycott the election
According to news agencies, most of the people and youth of the 2019 October Revolution say that due to the continuation of the corrupt government and force used by the militias affiliated with Iran, the election will not change anything, and they will strongly boycott it.
This issue became more prominent in the popular demonstrations on October 1, 2021. The youth in Baghdad and all the centers of the southern provinces, including Basra, Nasiriyah, the center of the revolution, Amara, Kut, Diwaniyah, Najaf, Karbala, and Hilla, chanted against all the ruling parties, including Nuri Maliki, Hadi Al-Ameri, Qais al-Khazali, Muqtada al-Sadr, and Ammar al-Hakim. They say the weapons and money of the militant groups will ultimately determine the official outcome of the election.
Something that the Associated Press remembered: “Tens of thousands of people protested in late 2019 and early 2020 and were met by security forces firing live ammunition and tear gas. More than 600 people were killed and thousands injured within just a few months.” (The Associated Press, October 11, 2021)
On Friday, October 8, 2021, Hadi al-Amiri, the leader of the Fatah faction and commander of the Badr Corps affiliated with the Iranian government, was expelled from the city by angry people in Kut for protesting him and calling him a criminal and a thief.
In Mosul, people prevented Khamis al-Khanjar from ending his election campaign in the city and expelled him. Khamis al-Khanjar, an ally of Iranian-affiliated parties, was also sanctioned by the United States following a wave of protests during the October Revolution.
In the meantime, the Iranian regime, through its mercenaries, is doing its best to continue to have the upper hand in the Iraqi parliament through fraud and bargaining. In this regard, many clips have been broadcast on social media, which show that corrupt candidates are distributing money and bribes.
Naturally, the Iranian regime, especially after the arrival of Ebrahim Raisi famous for his cruelty and mass killing, will not only reduce but also intensify its involvement and crimes in Iraq.
In this election, they are trying to dominate the Iraqi parliament and government. Certainly, they will not allow a healthy election in Iraq until the hands of Iran’s regime and its mercenaries are cut off from Iraq, and especially the government paramilitary gangs are disbanded.
Analysts believe future developments in Iraq will lead to the country moving further away from the Iranian regime. The current election, however, is not in the favor of the Iraqi people, but it will certainly push back the Iranian regime and its militias and its dependent political wing one step.