Baghdad: Two protesters rejecting the Iraqi election results were killed during a clash with the security forces outside the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad.
“(On Friday) Hundreds of party followers rejecting the results of the October 10 early election gathered in front of the outer gate of the Green Zone near the Ministry of Planning building, while the security forces blocked the entrances of the zone,” a source from the Interior Ministry told Xinhua news agency.
The clash erupted after the demonstrators tried to break into the zone, prompting the security forces to use tear gas to disperse the protesters who threw stones and water bottles at the troops, the source added.
Later in the day, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement that Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered an investigation into the clash.
Al-Kadhimi also called on the political parties to calm down and resort to dialogue and asked “demonstrators to exercise their legitimate rights by peaceful demonstration without violence”, the JOC statement said.
In the elections, the Sadrist Movement took the lead with more than 70 seats, while the al-Fatah (Conquest) Coalition garnered only 17 seats compared with 47 in the 2018 elections.
The results were surprising to many political parties, who denounced the elections as manipulation and fraud, and warned that they would not accept the “fabricated results”.
Followers of the political parties rejecting the election results took to the streets in many Iraqi cities, including the capital Baghdad, when the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission is still considering the appeals and complaints submitted by the political parties.
The Iraqi parliamentary elections, originally scheduled for 2022, were held in advance in response to months of protests against corruption, poor governance, and a lack of public services.
A total of 3,249 candidates within 167 parties and coalitions competed for 329 parliamentary seats.