Iraqi Parliament adjourns session after vote on articles of draft election law

The Iraqi parliament on Wednesday approved several articles of a draft election law but adjourned the session until Monday amid disputes over two articles in the bill.
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ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi parliament on Wednesday approved several articles of a draft election law but adjourned the session till Monday amid disputes over two articles in the bill.

The vote comes as widespread demonstrations that have called for institutional reform continue into their third month. Electoral reform has been one of the main demands of protests, where members of the security forces have killed upward to 500 people since they began.

A parliamentary session last week did not lead to a vote on the election bill, which consists of 50 articles that seek to reform the country’s electoral system.

The draft law indicates the electoral system would change to one that is a mix between direct voting and electoral lists, the latter of which protesters have rejected, preferring the former instead.

Attending members of the legislature approved the first 14 articles of the bill. But as lawmakers disagreed on a vote on articles 15 and 16, MPs from the Kurdistan Region’s parties left the session, breaking quorum.

Article 15 decides the structure and number of electoral districts by turning each sub-district administrative divisions into independent constituencies, MP Mariwan Nader explained to Kurdistan 24 following the session.

Kurdish lawmakers have voiced their concerns that this negatively impacts the Kurdish vote in areas disputed between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Federal Government of Iraq.

Article 16 regulates female quota seats.

The session is planned to resume on Monday.

Earlier in December, parliament passed a law that reorganizes the country’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) – an entity that oversees Iraqi elections – into a body consisting of nine commissioners, seven of whom would be chosen by lot, according to parliamentary speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi.

The Advisory Council of the Iraqi Council of State would appoint the remaining two commissioners.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany