Iraqis head to polls in snap parliamentary elections amid tight security

Baghdad, Oct 10 (EFE).- Iraqis on Sunday started casting their ballots in a snap parliamentary election called in response to months-long mass demonstrations in favor of reform.

More than 25 million people are eligible to vote as security personnel have been deployed to secure some 8,200 polling stations across the country.

Dozens of soldiers were guarding a polling center in Mansour district in Baghdad amid low voter turnout in the early hours of the day.

Israa Fadel, 52, and her daughter were the first voters to arrive at the polling center.

“Let’s hope that with these elections a better government will come out than the previous one,” Fadel told Efe.

To avoid voter fraud, Iraqis will be using time biometric identification for the first time that, according to authorities, ensures voters can cast their votes only once.

Around 3,249 candidates, including some 950 women, are competing for the 329 seats in the parliament.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets in 2019 to protest against endemic corruption, a shortage of basic services, and the country’s ruling class, which has been in place since the US-led invasion in 2003.

The demonstrations resulted in the death of more than 600 people and the resignation of then prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi.


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