Iraqis vote in first parliamentary election since 2019
News Desk || shiningbd
Initial turnout in Iraq's parliamentary election on Sunday was 41%, the electoral commission said, in a sign of dwindling trust in political leaders although participation was not nearly as low as election officials had earlier feared.
The poll had been due next year but was brought forward by six months in response to the unrest, during which hundreds of people were killed.
The old electoral system based on party lists has also been replaced with one meant to help independent candidates.
However, the main Shia Muslim blocs are still predicted to win the most seats.
They have dominated parliament since the US-led invasion in 2003, which overthrew Saddam Hussein's regime and ushered in a power-sharing system based on sectarian and ethnic identity that allowed a narrow elite to keep a firm grip on power and encouraged patronage and corruption.
Turnout was reportedly low in Sunday's vote. The electoral commission head told AFP news agency hours before the polls closed at 1800 local time (15:00 GMT) that it was estimated at just over 30%.