AA / Iraq
Polling stations opened in Iraq for early parliamentary elections on Sunday to select 329 members of the country’s parliament, under strict security measures.
According to the Anadolu Agency correspondent, polling stations across the country (18 governorates, including the Kurdish district of northern Iraq), opened to voters at 7:00 a.m. local time (04:00 GMT) and will close at 6:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. GMT), if there will be no extension.
Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi voted in the first minutes of the voting process, in his constituency on the Karkh side of the capital, Baghdad, and urged the Iraqis, in these statements to the media, to take part in the vote quickly.
The voting process is taking place under strict security measures resulting in the closure of land, sea and air border crossings and the ban on travel between the governorates from Saturday evening to Monday at dawn.
Official figures from the Election Commission indicate that 24.9 million Iraqis are eligible to vote, out of around 40 million people.
But the law only allows voters to vote through the voter card, and the Commission says only 14.3 million Iraqis received their voter cards.
They will vote in 8,273 polling centers, in 55,041 polling stations, in 83 constituencies across Iraq.
Some 3,249 candidates representing 21 coalitions and 109 parties, as well as independents, were vying for the 329 seats in the Iraqi parliament.
The current parliamentary term was supposed to end in 2022, but political parties decided to hold early elections, following widespread popular protests that toppled the previous government, led by Adel Abdel-Mehdi, at the end of the year 2019.
Iraqi protesters denounced the influential political class accused of corruption and dependence on the outside, and demanded the implementation of far-reaching political reforms, starting with the abolition of the quota system based on the distribution of posts. between the main components of the country, namely the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.
However, observers believe that the upcoming elections will not bring a major change in the current political map of the country.
* Translated from Arabic by Hend Abdessamad
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