In the second phase of protests in Iraq, demonstrators are risking everything to demand more — early elections and an answer to the question, who killed the protesters?
Iraq celebrated the one-year anniversary of the official defeat of Daesh. The anniversary also saw the partial re-opening of the 'Green Zone' in Baghdad to civilians 15 years after it was set up in the wake of the US-led invasion and occupation.
Iraq's current system of democracy is hardwired for sectarianism, but its discontents suffer without prejudice.
The session was held after 16 political groupings, including those of Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr and outgoing Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, reached an accord to create the biggest bloc in parliament.
Sixteen political groupings in Iraq, including those of Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr and outgoing Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, reached an accord to create the biggest bloc in parliament, capable of forming a new government.
Muqtada Sadr's alliance will retain all 54 seats it won to become the biggest bloc in Iraq's parliament, the electoral commission says after a manual recount of votes that was ordered by Supreme Court after allegations of fraud in May's election.
Once driving the populist wave during the protests in Iraq, cleric Muqtada al Sadr has now been mandated to resolve the protesters' demands.
Demonstrators have taken to streets in southern Iraqi cities to protest the economy. The unrest follows a May 12 parliamentary election tainted by allegations of fraud. The protests are in a major oil-producing region.
A suicide car bomb went off near a storage site housing ballot boxes from a May national election, police say. A court-mandated manual recount of the vote is expected to start from Kirkuk in two days.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi and cleric Moqtada al Sadr said their alliance "doesn't not mean the door is closed for the remaining blocs" to join them.
Haider al Abadi told a news conference that a report presented to the government recommended a partial manual recount of the vote, raising the prospect of further uncertainty in Iraq.
For the first time in many years, Iraqis have voted for politicians who campaigned not on sectarian or ethnic fault-lines but salient issues such as the country’s economy.
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