Iraq: demonstration against the new electoral law outside Parliament

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Protesters against the new electoral law outside Parliament in Baghdad on 27 February (Illustration image). AFP - AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

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In Baghdad, more than a hundred demonstrators gathered Friday night near the Iraqi Parliament to protest against the new electoral law, which is to be voted this Saturday, March 25 in the evening. Some of them spent the night there. They reject a law that they say will roll back the gains of the 2019 popular protests.


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With our correspondent in Baghdad, Marie-Charlotte Roupie

A few hundred meters from the Iraqi parliament, Abdullah chants revolutionary slogans evoking the large demonstrations of 2019. At the age of 21, the young Baghdadi firmly rejects the future Iraqi electoral law. "All Iraqis will lose with this law because, even if they participate in the elections, they will not have the desired result, it will be as if they have done nothing," he said.

This so-called Saint-Lego law redefined, among other things, electoral districts, making them larger. This could favour parties already in power. For supporters of this law, this will avoid political blockages as in the last elections, by achieving a clear majority.

A look back at the achievements of the 2019 revolt

For the demonstrators, it is a return to the achievements of the 2019 revolt. The division into smaller districts had allowed independents to gain greater representation in Parliament. "We will try to make our voice heard in parliament and if they do not listen to the voice of the Iraqi people, we will have other things to add, it will escalate," said Thaer, a protester who arrived from Maissan, a province in southeastern Iraq.

Faced with the large deployment of security forces, they finally spent the night at a safe distance from Parliament. They do not intend to move until the vote.

► READ ALSO: A year later, Iraq finally has a new government

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