- Title: Polls close in Iraqi parliamentary election after low turnout
- Date: 10th October 2021
- Summary: BAGHDAD, IRAQ (OCTOBER 10, 2021) (REUTERS) WOMAN WALKING INTO POLLING STATION, GOING TO DESK OFFICIALS AT POLLING STATION DESK FEMALE OFFICIAL PRINTING RECORD AT DESK MALE OFFICIAL ROLLING STRIP OF PAPER RECORD UP OFFICIALS SORTING PAPER RECORDS OFFICIALS WITH PAPERWORK ON DESKS RECORD BEING PRINTED FROM BALLOT BOX OFFICIALS TAKING LID OFF BALLOT BOX AND TIPPING BALLOT PAPERS ON TO CARDBOARD LAID ON THE FLOOR/ OFFICIALS LOOKING AT BALLOT PAPERS
- Embargoed: 24th October 2021 17:28
- Keywords: Election Iraq Polls closing Turnout Voting
- Location: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- City: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Middle East,Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001EYKSR47
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Polling stations closed on Sunday (October 10) in Iraq's parliamentary election that drew one of the smallest turnouts on record, electoral officials indicated.
Many voters have lost trust in political leaders and the democratic system brought in by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Reuters footage showed a quiet end to voting at a polling station in Baghdad's sprawling Sadr City district.
Officials printed records and opened the ballot box to count ballots once voting had officially ended.
The district, with a population of three million, is a bastion of support for populist Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
The election is being held several months early under a new law designed to help independent candidates - a response to mass anti-government protests two years ago.
The established, Shi'ite Islamist-dominated ruling elite, whose most powerful parties have armed wings, is expected to sweep the vote.
The movement led by Sadr, who opposes all foreign interference and whose main rivals are Iran-allied Shi'ite groups, is seen emerging as parliament's biggest faction.
The Iraqi government called the vote early in response to anti-establishment protests in 2019 that toppled the previous administration.
Protesters' demands included the removal of a ruling elite most Iraqis view as corrupt and keeping the country in disrepair. The demonstrations were brutally suppressed and some 600 people were killed over several months.
Iraq is safer than it has been for years and violent sectarianism is less present since Iraq vanquished the Sunni ultra-hardliners Islamic State in 2017 with the help of an international military coalition and Iran.
But endemic corruption and mismanagement has meant many of Iraq's 40 million people are without work and lack healthcare, education and electricity.
(Production: Haider Kadhim, Charlotte Bruneau, Amy Pollock)
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