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Iraq: Protesters Demand New Electoral Law | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Followers of Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr leave the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, May 1, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani/File Photo

Baghdad – Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets in the Green Zone Baghdad, calling for changes in the Iraqi electoral law and establishing an Independent High Electoral Commission.

The Sadrist Movement called for the demonstration that took place within intensive security measures including blocking roads leading to Jadriya, where the protesters gathered, and evacuating government headquarters in the Green Zone.

This protest brings to the minds the popular movement launched in July 2015 and had reform demands – Iraqi authorities have concerns over the re-occurrence of the assault on the Green Zone by protesters like what happened in May 2016.

On Monday, influential Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr warned of the oppressed and starving people rage that will target corruptions and corrupt officials in the Iraqi state.

Spokesperson of the Sadrist movement’s political bureau Jawad Jabouri said that protests are not restricted to the followers of Sadr but include popular participants – yet, the Sadrist Movement followers are the most active.

“We back any peaceful demand. Achieving popular demands such as combating corruption and providing services can’t be attained but with changing the Independent High Electoral Commission and its law to allow new figures to participate in the political process,” Jabouri told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Communist Political Figure Jassim Halfi said that “protests that were staged in July 2015 have put pressure on the government and pushed it to take reform procedures on the level of the judicial, parliamentary and executive authorities. But later on, the situation returned to its original and to the unpleasant apportionment.”

Halfi added to Asharq Al-Awsat, “We have two options: aggression or peace. Aggression in unacceptable to us and we can only protest and demonstrate peacefully.”

Furthermore, the Sadrist Movement’s anti-corruption committee decided to boot out 11 members – some for “not abiding by the committee’s decisions and some for abstaining from attending.”