Special vote for early parliamentary elections begins in Iraq

Special vote for early parliamentary elections begins in Iraq
Special vote for early parliamentary elections begins in Iraq

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Special vote for early parliamentary elections begins in Iraq in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - BAGHDAD — Polling stations in Iraq opened their gates Friday to allow security personnel, the displaced and prisoners to cast their special votes, while general elections are scheduled to be held coming Sunday.

The media department of the Interior Ministry mentioned in statement that security personnel were arriving in droves to participate in the elections amidst what it described as highly professional organization.

According to official statistics by election commission, 1.075 million security and armed forces personnel, amongst whom are 13,000 women, were eligible to cast votes in 595 different voting centers scattered across the country.

Friday's special vote also includes 120,000 registered displaced individuals, 61,000 of whom are women, as well as 671 prisoners' casting votes in six voting centers.

The voting process began at 7:00 a.m. local time and scheduled to be closed at 6:00 p.m. with no chance of extending the voting period according to the elections' commission.

The commission announced previously that voters' cards would be revoked after the special vote to prevent their use a second time as special votes count will be announced along with general vote count.

General vote for early elections is scheduled to be held this coming Sunday, amidst extensive security measures and under UN and EU supervision. It is also considered Iraq's most expansive parliamentary elections.

The vote is being held six months before schedule, in line with a promise made by Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi when he assumed office in 2020. He is seeking to appease anti-government protesters who rose up in October 2019 in Baghdad and Iraq’s south.

Friday's so-called “special voting” two days ahead of the election is meant to free police and soldiers so they can provide security on Election Day.

There are 3,449 candidates vying for 329 seats in parliament in Sunday’s vote, which will be the fifth held since the fall of Saddam Hussein after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Groups drawn from the Shi'ite Muslim majority are expected to remain in the driving seat, as has been the case since Hussein's Sunni-led government was ousted in 2003.

The government also introduced a new voting law that it says will bring more independent voices into parliament and can help reform. It has been trying to encourage a greater turnout. — Agencies

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