Iraq election boycott grows over fraud, security fears

Iraq election boycott grows over fraud, security fears
The Iraqi Communist Party is among the latest groups to pull out of the elections, citing 'uncontrolled weapons and political money'.
2 min read
27 July, 2021
Populist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr recently withdrew from the Iraqi parliamentary elections [Getty]

The boycott of Iraq's parliamentary elections is showing no sign of slowing after the Iraqi ​Communist Party announced this weekend it would not be taking part.

The party said during a press conference on Saturday that it was boycotting the election because it does not believe that the 10 October elections will change Iraq for the better, blaming "uncontrolled weapons and political money". 

Other parties are citing security concerns as a reason why the elections should not take place. 

A representative from the Al-Fatah coalition said that security needed to be upped if voting can take place safely.

"The security situation in Iraq is witnessing a serious deterioration ... which will open new loopholes for the Islamic State elements to launch their terrorist attacks, whether on citizens or on security forces," Al-Fatah's Mahdi Taqi said in a statement.

"This dangerous decline in security will certainly have negative results on the holding of parliamentary elections, or even on the issue of turnout and people's participation, as citizens cannot vote without secure stability."

Populist Iraqi cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr announced earlier this month that his bloc would be withdrawing from the elections because of corruption. 

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Election boycotters are also warning of potential fraud, ​as was allegedly seen during the 2018 parliamentary election.

Despite this, the country's electoral commission is pushing ahead with its preparations.

A senior official from the commission told The New Arab's sister service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that election preparations are moving forward, with agreements signed for the printing of paper ballots and voter lists.

The United Nations mission in Iraq announced Monday that European countries granted more funding for the elections.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi announced last year that a parliamentary election would take place in June 2021, a year earlier than meant to be. The election date was pushed back until October.

Early elections were one of the key demands of Iraqi activists during recent anti-government protests.