Despite measures taken by the Iraqi parliament, anti-government protests raged in the country for the fifth week in a row. Parliamentary decisions included stripping senior officials from benefits they enjoyed.
Among the benefits abolished by parliament were financial preferences granted to senior civil servants such as the president, prime minister, and lawmakers.
The move towards reform, however, failed to quell demonstrations, with protestors saying that such solutions no longer meet their demands which include the total overthrow of government, parliament and the entire country’s political infrastructure.
Many of the statements put out by protestors cite the death of fellow marchers so as to say that matters have spiraled out of hand for the incumbent government.
Demonstrations in Iraq entered their 27th day, taking place in Baghdad and nine other provinces. It is worth noting that the Iraqi government and parliament are seeking to meet the demands of the demonstrators.
Moreover, a number of political blocs withdrew a day after representatives signed a document at National Wisdom Movement leader Ammar al-Hakim’s house which gave Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi 45 days to implement the promised reforms.
Reforms cited by the document included establishing a special court for corruption, changing the electoral law and electoral commission, reshuffling the Cabinet, prosecuting the forces who targeted the protesters and passing several pending proposals on oil and gas, social security, and other issues.
The Nasr Coalition and Hikma Movement warned that they will form an opposition bloc in the parliament and move to withdraw confidence in Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi if he does not proceed with the reform proposal within 40 days.
Speaking about the document signing, Member of the Iraqi Center for Political and Legal Development Hisham al-Shammae said it sent negative signals to people demanding the dissolution of parliament and resignation of the government.