Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Sadr Calls For Boycott Of Iraq’s Dec Election

(AFP)

 

On November 13 Moqtada al-Sadr called on his followers to boycott the December provincial elections. The idea is that if his sizeable movement does not participate it will delegitimize the vote. That might lead to a delay in the balloting.

 

A large number of Iraqis, especially the young no longer believe in the political system since it is the same corrupt parties that have run things since the U.S. invasion and many were disillusioned after the government used force to put down protests. The result was in the last election in 2021 only 41% of voters took part the lowest amount since 2005. Sadr’s boycott could lead to considerably fewer people participating.

 

Still this seems like another miscalculation by Sadr. His opponents the Coordination Framework control the federal government and a boycott would only assure them of taking over the provinces as well. The Framework already said any vote would be legitimate.

 

This would not be the first time that Sadr has misplayed his hand. He had the largest bloc in parliament after the 2021 election and yet made a series of moves which allowed the Framework to take power and his party be excluded from the new administration.

 

SOURCES

 

Al Aalem, “Legitimacy … Will Al-Sadr overthrow the local elections?” 11/14/23

 

New Arab, “Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr calls for provincial elections boycott,” 11/13/23

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