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The Iraqi parliament approves controversial amendments to the election law


The Iraqi parliament has approved controversial amendments to the election law that could undermine the chances of small parties and independent candidates winning seats in any future elections. The amendments increase the size of constituencies, a move widely supported by the Coordination Framework, an alliance of Iran-backed parties.

The coalition forms the majority bloc in the current parliament, which brought Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani to power last year. The bill passed by a vote of 206-12 in the 329-seat assembly, according to media reports.

The rest of the lawmakers were absent from the hours-long session, which began Sunday evening. The amendments also contradict key articles passed ahead of the 2021 federal election and redraw electoral maps to return Iraq to a single constituency per governorate.

A number of political blocs and independent MPs rejected the amendments and stopped voting for weeks.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered during the past weeks to express their opposition, while independent legislators who objected to the law withdrew from a previous session, causing it to be postponed due to lack of a quorum.