The most important result of extensive popular demonstrations which started from October 2019 in Iraq was the resignation of “Adel Abdol Mahdi” government and specifying the early election date for October 10, 2021. Iraqi election was held in due time but instead of removing concerns, caused more unrests. Shortly after the election results were announced, protests against the results and sit down strike of protesters started, demonstrations which continued until today and has left casualties and injuries of many protesters and sit down strikers. Another aftershock was an assassination effort to kill Mostafa Al-Kazimi by drone attacks to his residence. This was an unexpected and shocking event, especially when the early election in Iraq was interpreted as the most important event which could encourage the people of the country to the political system and make reforms; because in dealing with various crises that Iraq is facing, reform of the political system and restoration of public trust, legitimacy and being accountable in Iraqi government are perhaps the most important ones.
In the other word, experiences like what happened during Saddam Hussein, emergence of ISIS, Kurdistan territory to obtain independence, assassination of civil activists and critics, financial and administrative corruption, assassination effort to kill Al-Kazimi and generally, piling up of difficulties in the country have caused in a multi-ethnics and multi-faiths of Iraq, the social trust becomes too low. The factor has caused the trust among people themselves, in parties, in coalitions and in government to be damaged, the most important result of which embodies in emerging anger and street demonstrations. These factors may ultimately lead to instability, insecurity and unrest in Iraq and to provide an opportunity for terrorist groups.
Any protest against the results of election from all walks of life in Iraq, will have two consequences:
First, in view of the low turn-out of 41% in the Iraqi election and 700000 void votes, any protest from any group against the result of the election will ultimately lead to discourage of a larger number and larger percentage of eligible voters in Iraq, because a criteria to assess the integrity is turn-out percentage of voters in election.
Second, protests and assassination effort to kill Al-Kazimi may become a motivation for resumption and continuation of protests by civil protesters who boycotted the election and did not participate.
Preserving integrity and national unity is what Iraq needs to materialize her national interests and objectives. Preserving the integrity in Iraq is necessary in order to materialize objectives such as reconstruction, fighting against ISIS, improving the national economy, providing welfare for the Iraqi nation and turning Iraq to an influential player in sorting out the regional issues. Preserving the integrity and unity in Iraq should be materialized in three stages:
First, among Shi’ite groups,
Second, among Shi’ite and Sunni groups and
Third, among Arabs and Kurds of the country
Likewise, what damages the integrity and unity in Iraq is;
First, disputes among Shi’ites
Second, disputes among Shi’ites and Sunni groups
Third, the disputes among Arabs and Kurds of the country
Therefore, what is important for Iraq and the region is to preserve the stability and peace in the country. Iraqi society should be aware and conscious that the internal developments in the country should not divert them to the direction that lead to the intervention of other countries in their domestic affairs. To this end, what is important is:
The necessity to respect the final results of the election which will be announced by the Supreme Commission of Election and other Iraqi official sources;
The necessity to identify the perpetrators, those who ordered and those who carried out the assassination of civil activists from one hand and failed terror assassination of Al-Kazimi, Iraqi Prime Minister from the other hand;
The necessity to invite Iraqi protesters to peace and patience by leaders of all groups, parties and political organizations and to invite them to unity, solidarity and preserving the national unity of Iraq;
Constructive dialog and national solutions to leave behind the election crisis in line with the efforts to quickly set up the government;
Amid all this, abiding by democratic and legal means and keeping the country away from security tensions are the only ways to materialize the objectives and securing the Iraqi popular interests. Because, as Al-Kazimi said:” the country can not be constructed by missiles and drones”. The necessity to preserve the Iraqi national unity and integrity along with the necessity to high tur-out of people in the Iraqi election will be primary steps to set up good governance in the country. Therefore, the Iraqi authorities should not conclude the end of each election round as the end of the whole story. Instead, the necessity of people’s turn-out must be seen as a process. The process which should move towards the improvement and higher turn-out of people and the necessity to people’s presence should not be shelved at the end of each election. In fact, people’s trust and hope to the future must be restored and strengthened, and thus people’s turn-out and solidarity with the government and governance must be increased. The Iraqi people should leave the final opportunity not to the results of the “demonstrations” but to the results of the “election with maximum turn-out”. Therefore, it is necessary to harbor the culture of voting and election among the Iraqi people.