Iraq Needs a Grand Bargain to Halt Its Downward Spiral

Anti-government protesters try to force their way into the Green Zone area in Baghdad, Iraq, May 25, 2021 (AP photo by Khalid Mohammed).
Anti-government protesters try to force their way into the Green Zone area in Baghdad, Iraq, May 25, 2021 (AP photo by Khalid Mohammed).
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There is serious doubt as to whether Iraq’s upcoming parliamentary elections in October will be free and fair, or have any meaningful level of voter turnout, yet the outcome is easy to foresee. Iraqi elections inevitably produce no clear winner: Major parties compete as parts of alliances, and once results are announced, several of these blocs engage in a protracted period of negotiations that yields a fragile ruling coalition. These weak governments, hobbled by political divisions and corruption, are designed to maintain the political elite’s grip on power and protect the system from internal and external pressures. The prime minister, […]

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