Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Iraq to Draft New Electoral Law Soon

Iraq to Draft New Electoral Law Soon

Monday, 4 November, 2019 - 07:15
Anti-government protests stand on barriers set up by Iraqi security forces to close the Joumhouriya Bridge leading to the Green Zone government area, in Baghdad, Iraq, Nov. 3, 2019 (AP)

Iraqi President Barham Saleh said Sunday that efforts were being exerted to draft a new electoral law that will be submitted to parliament this week in an attempt to meet the demands of anti-government protesters.

During a meeting with union leaders and representatives, Saleh said the draft-law would ensure fair representation and respect for the views of voters..

He also said the Electoral Commission would be reshuffled to include professionals away from party loyalties.

“The peaceful nature of the demonstrations, which were enshrined in the values of true patriotism and the determination of Iraqis to evaluate the course of the political process, is what helps more serious work that ... can provide the appropriate ground for the judiciary to eradicate corruption and initiate state-building,” the president said.

Saleh had discussed with former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki the measures that could help meet the demands of protesters.

“The two men stressed the need to keep protests peaceful and maintain national security,” a statement by Maliki’s office said Sunday.

Their meeting came as parliament failed to convene on Sunday for the fourth consecutive day after Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who had asked the sessions be broadcast live, failed to attend.

Nasr Coalition deputy Adnan Zarfi warned political leaders against losing their “last chance” and said authorities must not commit their previous mistakes, rather they must listen to the demands of the youth.

Wisdom Bloc MP Furat al-Tamimi told Asharq Al-Awsat that parliament should convene continuously. “Before Oct. 25, the Wisdom Bloc called for a session, but our demand was not answered.”

He said during Friday’s sermons, religious leaders set a clear roadmap that places the country in the right direction towards resolving its crisis.

Tamimi said political leaders should benefit from the mass protests to introduce real reforms: Fight corruption, issue sentences against corrupt officials and recover looted funds.

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