Record low voter turnout in Iraqi elections | The northwest star


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Turnout in Iraq fell to a record low as the country’s political elite were widespread. The first results of the elections, the second in Iraq since the country’s military victory over the Islamic State almost four years ago, are expected on Monday. 42 percent of eligible voters cast their vote, the Iraqi election commission announced on Sunday evening, as quoted by local media. This is the lowest turnout in the five elections since longtime ruler Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003, down from a previous low of 44.5 percent in 2018. The general election was brought forward several months in response to protests for reform. Oil-rich Iraq has been grappling with an economic and political crisis for years. Many Iraqis have little confidence in politics and do not expect the elections to change the existing balance of power. Supporters of the protest movement that broke out in October 2019 called for an election boycott. Since the beginning of the movement, protesters have been calling for the dissolution of parliament and a revision of the political system that has been in place since the US-led invasion in 2003. Election observers also attributed the low turnout to a large number of security forces on election day. According to official figures, more than 250,000 security guards were sent out on the streets. According to EU election observer Viola von Cramon, security efforts seem to have kept people from voting. Australian Associated Press


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