- Title: Security forces deployed on eve of election to encourage Iraqis to vote
- Date: 9th October 2021
- Summary: VARIOUS OF MEMBERS OF SECURITY FORCES STANDING IN STREET
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2021 13:40
- Keywords: Baghdad Basra Elections Iraq Parliament Polling stations Preview Voters Youth
- Location: BAGHDAD AND BASRA, IRAQ
- City: BAGHDAD AND BASRA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Middle East,Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA005EYFQWXZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Security forces drove through the streets of Baghdad on Saturday (October 9), with loud speakers calling on voters to cast their votes in Sunday's (October 10) general election.
Troops were seen standing at the sides of roads, and handing gifts of diaries to drivers to remind them to vote.
"Voting leads to the achievement of your demands," said a recording blasting from the vehicle speakers.
Turnout at the election will show how much faith voters have left in a still young democratic system.
Many Iraqis say they will not vote, having watched established parties they do not trust win successive elections and bring little improvement to their lives.
Groups drawn from the Shi'ite Muslim majority are expected to retain a majority, as has been the case since Saddam Hussein's Sunni-led government was ousted in 2003.
Violent sectarianism is less of a feature of life since Iraq vanquished Islamic State in 2017 with the help of an international military coalition and Iran.
But endemic corruption and mismanagement has meant many people in the country of about 40 million are without work, and lack healthcare, education and electricity.
In 2019, mass anti-government protests swept across Baghdad and the south, toppled a government and forced the current government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to hold this election six months early.
The government also introduced a new voting law that it says will bring more independent voices into parliament and can help reform. It has been trying to encourage a greater turnout.
(Production: Maher Nazeh, Mohammed Aty, Haider Kadhim, Nadeen Ebrahim, Charlotte Bruneau)
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