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Establishment parties in Iraq have moved to push through electoral reform to maintain their dominance. They have chiefly done the latter by making it harder for independent and smaller actors to compete with bigger players. However, despite the effort to keep the status quo and ensure stability, Iraqi politics could be on the verge of potentially becoming a lot more unpredictable.
Return to pre-2019 conditions
In March, Iraqi lawmakers passed reforms to the voting system that are widely perceived as disadvantageous to independents and political newcomers. In some ways, the changes adopted to address the demands of the protest movement which emerged in Oct. 2019 have been reversed.
The key driving force behind the reforms is the Shiite Coordination Framework, a coalition of groups close to Iran. Members of the political constellation fared poorly in the Oct. 2021 legislative elections, which saw the Sadrist Movement emerge as the single largest bloc. Part of the Coordination Framework’s poor performance was its failure to adapt to the electoral system adopted in the wake of the Oct. 2019 protests. To break the establishment parties’ grip on...
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