In partnership with the German foundation Friedrich Ebert, Al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies held the second symposium in a series of seminars discussing early elections to be held next October.

The symposium hosted Mr. Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani, President of ALforaten and former Minister of Labor, as well as Dr. Abduljabbar Ahmed, Rector of Al-Bayan University.

Speaking at the symposium, Al Sudani said that “early elections are not the choice of political forces but the will of the people and are the result of protests. The political forces, therefore, see them as a real threat to their decade of power, so most traditional power organs have been employed in the context of promoting boycotts and encouraging non-election.”

“The Electoral Commission was supposed to address the agendas of the traditional forces through a process of large-scale election education, but did not raise awareness of the elections,” Al Sudani added, considering that “the House of Representatives has removed many important files and postponed them until the next House of Representatives is formed.”

Dr. Abduljabbar Ahmed said that “the boycott greatly benefits the traditional forces that have a steady audience because it is unaffected by the calls of the boycott, as its directions and electoral options are known in advance,” and predicted that the elections will not be held as scheduled on 10thOctober, given the current circumstances.

Ahmed continued, “Participation, whether small or large, does not determine the legitimacy of the system, but rather it is an achievement that determines the legitimacy of the system, achievement in different sectors; security, services, economy… It gives legitimacy and popular support to any future government.”

On the political movements that emerged from the October protests, Ahmed stated that “unless they organize themselves electorally, their votes will be dispersed, and current data indicate that they are not yet organized.”

The symposium also featured extensive interventions on options for participation and boycott in the upcoming elections.