In October 2019, Iraqis took to the streets in big numbers, demanding an end to the limitless corruption of those in power, creation of jobs, and improvement in basic services such as water, electricity and health care. These reasonable demands were met with bullets from the security forces and their allied militias.
Up to 600 were killed and thousands injured. Many others were kidnapped and tortured by the militias. Later, Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhemi promised early elections — and on October 10, he will be delivering on that promise.
The election is being conducted under a new law whose aim is to prop up independent candidates, with 167 parties running. Though Al Kadhemi’s decision to hold early elections stemmed from his desire to give Iraqis the reforms they seek, the outcome of the polls is very unlikely to bring any real change in the lives of ordinary Iraqis. This is the unfortunate reality of Iraq.
The title fight is, once again, between the pro-Iran parties and their militias, and the political bloc of the other Shiite heavyweight, Moqtada Al Sadr, who is against foreign interference — whether Iranian or otherwise. One of the main contenders, apart from the Sadrists, is the Fatah alliance, the political arm of pro-Iran militias.