In partnership with the German foundation Friedrich Ebert, Al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies held a new symposium in a series of symposiums discussing the early elections to be held next October.
The symposium was entitled “Parliamentary elections: Calls for Change and Concerns of the Conservatives”, Candidates’ opportunities were discussed between traditional and emerging movements in the light of current data regarding the holding of elections.
The symposium hosted: Haider Al Mulla representing taqaddum alliance, Ayat Mudhafar Noori representing Victory alliance, Manar Alobaidi , Representing Emtidad movement, and Ameer Alhabobi founder of the Baghdad Students Union and candidate for Al Wafa movement.
Al Mulla said, “The early elections were a political requirement before it was the masses’ demand, because the form of government produced by the 2018 elections was monolithic, neglecting all political forces in the decision making process, so politicians protested against that government, and when the demonstrations occurred, the political will to demand early elections was strengthened.”
He also added “The continued dominance of the armed forces parallel to the state over political life, prevents the realization of the change that the masses seek.”
With regard to the Alliance of Al-Hakim and Al-Abadi, Noori stated that “The Alliance is based on principles and objectives, most important of which is to strengthen the foundations of the State and to prevail over the powers of the non-State. We believe that this Alliance is capable of achieving this goal, especially after other blocs that believe in the same approach in the post-election phase have joined it. One of these blocs is from the October demonstrations.”
She added, “It is incorrect to keep the country in a state of government vacuum with the security crisis as well as the finances matched by an under-empowered government that cannot approve the fiscal budget, calling on the political blocs to deal positively with the issue of government formation, but not to the benefit of the citizen. Those blocs can receive the benefits they see from their entitlement after the early elections.“
Alobaidi, an economist, said that “the real amount of money lost is estimated at $400-$450 billion, or 40% of Iraq’s total fiscal balances, and this spending was enough to build a real country. Had it not been for the abuse of power by political blocs in financial and administrative corruption, which in turn reflected the electoral process and public confidence in participating in the elections“.
Alhabobi stated “Political money played a big role in frustrating people in participating in early elections”, he implied at the same time, that the calls for boycott are likely to be non-spontaneous.
The symposium featured extensive interventions on the opportunities and challenges of early parliamentary elections.