In Iraq’s parliamentary elections on Sunday, only 41 percent of the 25 million potential voters came to the polls. The Iraqi Election Commission announced on Monday.
It means a record low turnout in a country with great frustration among the population about the political elite. The election results are expected later on Monday.
Turnout is also lower than in the 2018 election when 44.5 percent of eligible Iraqis came to the polls. Those were the first elections since Iraq declared military victory over the militant group Islamic State (IS) nearly four years ago. Iraqis have been allowed to vote five times since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Sunday’s elections were brought forward several months after continued protests across the country calling for reforms. The low turnout had already been predicted. Many Iraqis are so disappointed in politics that they have given up hope that they can really change the balance of power in the country. Oil-rich Iraq has struggled for years with economic and political crises.
Election observers, however, also believe that the massive security measures have deterred voters. Iraq deployed more than 250,000 security workers to secure all polling stations in the country. These measures reinforced the fear of attacks among many voters.