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An Iraqi woman shows her ink-stained finger after casting her vote at a polling station in the northern city of Kirkuk An Iraqi woman shows her ink-stained finger after casting her vote at a polling station in the northern city of Kirkuk  (AFP or licensors)

Iraqis vote for new parliament

Iraqis have been voting in a parliamentary election which is being held early in response to mass protests.

By Nathan Morley

Iraqis have been voting in a parliamentary election which is being held early in response to mass protests.

Security was tight in Baghdad, with voters thoroughly searched at the entrance to polling stations.

This vote has been called a year early, after huge anti-government protests swept the country throughout 2019.

Protestors demanded jobs and basic public services and an end to corruption.

Iraqi leaders say this is a chance for reform, but many Iraqis believe that little will change and turn out is reportedly low.

As usual, parties are appealing to voters on the basis of religious, ethnic or tribal loyalties. However, new rules were brought in to encourage independent candidates but the main political blocks are still expected to maintain power.

A total of 3,449 candidates are vying for 329 seats in the national parliament.

Results are expected late Monday. Election observers deployed by the European Union and the United Nations are monitoring the vote.

Listen to the report by Nathan Morley
10 October 2021, 16:01