Record abstention in Iraq's first vote after defeating Islamic State

Many voters who did go to the polls said they wanted change and new faces among the 329 deputies of the future parliament.

Published: 13th May 2018 02:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th May 2018 02:32 AM   |  A+A-

An Iraqi soldier stands guard as voters wait in a long line to cast their ballots in the country's parliamentary elections at a polling site in a damaged building in west Mosul. (AP)


BAGHDAD: Less than half of voters went to the polls in Iraq on Saturday for the first legislative elections since the victory over Islamic State jihadists, the electoral commission announced. 

Turnout was 44.52 percent, the highest abstention rate since the first multiparty elections in 2005.

More than half of the nearly 24.5 million voters shunned the election to show their mistrust of a political class they denounce as corrupt.

They point to same candidates being on the ballot paper since the American-led invasion in 2003 and the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Many voters who did go to the polls said they wanted change and new faces among the 329 deputies of the future parliament. 

Disenchantment is clear when Saturday's turnout is compared to the first ballot in 2005 at 79 percent, that of 62.4 percent in 2010 and 60 percent in 2014.

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