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Kurdish MPs boycott Iraqi parliament as lawmakers approve election bill

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Parliamentary blocs representing the Kurdistan Region in the Iraqi legislature on Tuesday reiterated their opposition to a recently-introduced electoral bill as lawmakers voted to approve it.

“In the name of Iraq, and in the name of the Iraqi people, in the name of the martyrs, in the name of all those who sacrificed, in the name of the displaced, the law has been approved,” said Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, as reported by Reuters.

The resolution comes after two parliamentary sessions last week did not lead to a vote on all 50 articles of the election bill, which purports to reform the country’s electoral system, a leading demand of anti-government protests. 

Protesters continue to take to the streets despite measures to appease them like the election bill. Since demonstrations began nearly three months ago in early October, members of the security forces have killed over 500 people and wounded thousands of others, according to various sources and media tallies.

On Thursday, attending members of parliament approved the first 14 articles of the bill. But as lawmakers disagreed 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 Thursday's session.
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