Election workers count ballots at the end of voting in parliamentary elections in Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday. AP
Preliminary turnout in the Iraqi elections was 41 per cent, the electoral commission announced on Monday, suggesting a lower rate of participation than in the last vote in 2018.
Turnout figures have showed many citizens boycotted Iraq's parliamentary election, held a year early to appease protestors, in an oil-rich country riddled by corruption and beholden to armed factions.
The figure is based on the results from 94 per cent of polling stations, the commission said, adding that more than nine million people had voted. Many of Iraq's 25 million eligible voters were expected to have boycotted the polls amid deep distrust in the country's political class.
An election worker counts ballots after polls close at a polling station in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, on Sunday. AP
In what was the fifth election since the 2003 US-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein with the promise of bringing freedom and democracy, preliminary turnout was just 41 per cent, the electoral committee said.
Few voters expressed enthusiasm among those who queued in the fifth election since the 2003 US-led invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein with the promise of bringing freedom and democracy.
"We want change," said Mohammed, 23, who declined to give his surname.
"I have a degree in Arabic literature but I clean toilets in a restaurant -- it's humiliating."
Housewife Jimand Khalil, 37, said she hoped her vote would help "to change the current leaders who are incompetent".
Iraqi election officials wait for voters at a polling station in the capital Baghdad on Sunday. AFP
The election was held under tight security in a country where key parliamentary blocs have armed factions and Islamic State group jihadists have launched deadly suicide attacks this year.
The election was held a year early in response to the youth-led protest movement that broke out in October 2019 in Baghdad and swept across much of the country.
Tens of thousands flooded the streets to vent their rage at corruption, unemployment and other problems. Hundreds lost their lives in protest-related violence.
Even as the protests fizzled out as coronavirus hit, more activists were killed, kidnapped or intimidated, with accusations that pro-Iran armed groups, many of them represented in parliament, were behind the violence.
Iraq by convention has had a Shiite Muslim prime minister, a Sunni parliament speaker and a Kurdish president.
The early indications of Iraq’s Sunday parliamentary election with a low 41 per cent turnout show that Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s group has improved its position
Iraqis are set to go to the polls on Sunday to elect representatives for the 329-member national assembly. The election was initially scheduled for June but postponed
Indonesian authorities warned on Thursday against unrest as a firebrand ex-general rejected unofficial election results that appeared to hand President Joko Widodo another term as leader of the world’s third-biggest democracy.
Preliminary investigation revealed that fire was a result of a gas cylinder explosion in the restaurant.
The Ministry stressed in a statement on Monday that its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.
A source close to the investigation said the person killed in the early hours of Monday was a security guard and that the death did not appear to have been a terrorism act.