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Iraq Protests Close to Achieving 2nd Demand after Govt. Resignation

Iraq Protests Close to Achieving 2nd Demand after Govt. Resignation

Wednesday, 11 December, 2019 - 08:45
Women demonstrators hold Iraqi flags as they take part in a protest over corruption, lack of jobs, and poor services, in Baghdad, Iraq. (Reuters)

Iraqi protesters are close to achieving their second demand since their movement erupted in October.

The “October Revolutionaries”, as they have come to be known, succeeded in attaining their first demand of the resignation of the government and Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

Based on stances by various political parties and blocs, the popular movement is about to achieve its second demand of dissolving parliament and holding early elections - the first of their kind since 2005.

Until recently, most of the political forces have defended the idea of replacing Abdul Mahdi with an independent candidate. However, increased pressure from the protests, along with the violent security crackdown, forced them to reconsider their positions and accept early elections.

Member of parliament's foreign relations committee, Dhafer al-Ani, pointed out that there is “some sort of consensus between the political forces” to dissolve parliament and hold early polls.

He admitted to Asharq Al-Awsat that Kurdish forces have not declared a clear position so far, but they did not reject the proposal.

President Barham Salih is expected to propose his candidate for prime minister by December 15 at the latest.

Heads of political blocs will meet on Wednesday to discuss a new amended electoral law, which must conform to the demands of the protesters and the standards set by the United Nations.

Sairoon alliance MP, Amjad al-Oqabi affirmed that the majority of the political blocs are in agreement on dissolving the parliament and holding early elections.

Earlier this week, 130 lawmakers signed a list with the criteria of the next prime minister. Among them is the demand that he be an independent figure who has never held office before.

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