- Title: Iraq passes electoral reforms but deadlock remains
- Date: 24th December 2019
- Summary: BAGHDAD, IRAQ (DECEMBER 24, 2019) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS WALKING AT TAHRIR SQUARE, MAIN SITE OF PROTESTS IN BAGHDAD SIGN READING (Arabic): "THE PEOPLE ARE THE BIGGEST BLOC'' TUK TUKS DRIVING PAST PROTESTERS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER, HASSAN, SAYING: ''Voting on the item 15 (from the election law) means that 75 percent in favour of protesters and 25 percent in favour of them (the political class). There are some gaps in the law. But we say, thank God, we have achieved a simple thing from the revolution.'' PROTESTERS PROTESTER SITTING IN TENT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ACTIVIST, FAROOK PAPAN, SAYING: ''The law is unfair and unjust, it will facilitate a way for the same people who have seats in parliament in the previous rounds. The law has been designed for the sake of the influential political powers and not on the basis of people's will and opinion.'' VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS
- Embargoed: 7th January 2020 16:49
- Keywords: Iraq Middle East conflict government law parliament protests
- Location: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- City: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002BBC5JYF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Iraq's parliament approved on Tuesday (December 24) a new electoral law, a key demand of protesters to make elections fairer, but political deadlock is still holding up the selection of an interim prime minister, threatening renewed unrest.
Mass protests have gripped Iraq since October 1 and protesters, most of them young, are demanding an overhaul of a political system they see as profoundly corrupt and keeping most Iraqis in poverty. More than 450 people have been killed.
"In the name of Iraq, and in the name of the Iraqi people, in the name of the martyrs, in the name of all those who sacrificed, in the name of the displaced, the law has been approved," Council of Representatives Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi said after the vote.
The new election law passed by parliament will allow voters to elect individual lawmakers instead of choosing from party lists, and have each member of parliament represent a specific electoral district instead of groups of legislators representing entire provinces.
Protesters have demanded not just a new electoral law, but also the removal of the entire ruling elite seen as enriching itself off the state and serving foreign powers - above all Iran - as many Iraqis languish in poverty without jobs, healthcare or education, and an independent premier with no party affiliation.
(Production: Maher Nazeh, Mohammed Katfan, Tara Oakes)
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