Iraq’s Oct. 10 parliamentary elections represented an important new station in the country’s political evolution. The early polls—along with a new electoral law and commission—were a response to two years of youth-led demonstrations which expressed a desire to seek peaceful change through the ballot box. However, voter turnout was modest in comparison with this desire.
Turnout and political stability
The non-participation of a majority of the Iraqi electorate—and the outcome of the elections—indicate political and societal tensions that might threaten Iraq’s stability. Indeed, the low turnout suggests a high rate of societal dissatisfaction with the performance of the state and the political establishment. This makes the return of demonstrations, involving even further violence, a possibility.
Importantly, the elections saw the winners receive 40% of votes while 60% of ballots went to the non-winners. Considering the irregularities surrounding the elections, complicated political crises could emerge—starting with the rejection of the results by some political actors. This could potentially impact political stability in the future...
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