Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Iraqi protesters helped spur new elections. But many doubt their votes will matter

BAGHDAD — In 2019, thousands of Iraqis started taking part in huge demonstrations to demand change. They called for an end to rampant corruption that is siphoning their country’s oil wealth, for better public services like reliable water and electricity, and for a bigger voice in a government.

The protest movement forced out Adil Abdul-Mahdi, then the prime minister, in May 2020, and triggered new elections. On Sunday, Iraqi voters will go to the polls to elect a new parliament for the fifth time since longtime dictator Saddam Hussein was ousted after the U.S. invaded in 2003.

But many Iraqis say they see no reason to vote. The current parties in power — many backed by militias involved in attacks that killed some 600 demonstrators — are poised to dominate again, according to political analysts. Young Iraqis say they don’t see any future for themselves in their country. [ see the full article ]

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