- Title: Iraqis doubt parliament will go for early election
- Date: 20th December 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER, ALA, SAYING: "Last week's sermon and this week's one are a clear sign that he (Sistani) is dotting "i"s and crossing "t"s on our stance vis-Ã -vis the political elite ruling the country. The political elite is obviously trying to deceive people and evade from them through hindering the election law and violate the constitution."
- Embargoed: 3rd January 2020 16:28
- Keywords: Iraq Sistani mock funeral procession protests reactions
- Location: BAGHDAD AND NAJAF, IRAQ
- City: BAGHDAD AND NAJAF, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA002BAS3TJB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Iraqis expressed their doubts about parliament allowing early elections on Friday (December 20) after Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said that would be the only way out of the current unrest gripping the country.
"The political elite is obviously trying to deceive people and evade from them through hindering the election law and violate the constitution," Ala, a protester in central Baghdad's Tahrir square, told Reuters.
Parliament failed on Wednesday (December 18) to pass a new electoral law, a key demand of protesters. The new law aims, among other things, to reduce the number of lawmakers in parliament and bring the minimum age of candidacy down by five years, from 30 to 25.
Deadlock in parliament also held up the selection of an interim prime minister, causing lawmakers to miss the constitutional deadline on Thursday (December 19) to name a replacement for Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who resigned last month but has remained in office in a caretaker capacity.
Also on Friday, a mock funeral procession was held in the holy city of Najaf, south of Baghdad, to honour protesters killed during the unrest.
Tens of thousands of protesters have been demanding an overhaul of Iraq's post-2003 political system, underpinned by endemic political corruption. More than 440 people, mostly unarmed protesters but also some members of the security forces, have been killed since Oct. 1, according to a Reuters tally.
(Production: Maher Nazeh, Ahmed Saeed, Mohammed Katfan, Chiara Rodriquez)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None