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The Future of Iraq’s Protest Movement

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This is the English and Arabic recording of Panel 1 from the 29th September Conflict Research Programme-Iraq Conference 'Iraq on the Eve of Elections: A new era or return to the status quo?'. Unfortunately due to technical issues we are unable to upload the English interpretation of Omar Al Jaffal and Inas Jabbar's presentations and answers. We are very sorry for this inconvenience. In October 2019 over a million Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad and the Southern Provinces calling for employment and basic services, such as clean water and electricity. Their demands later evolved to include calls for the overhaul of the post-invasion political system, a caretaker government made up of independent technocrats and early elections. The protests forced key concessions from the political elite, including the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abed Al Mahdi, the introduction of a new electoral law and elections to be held in October 2021. In addition, they saw the creation of a number of independent civil organisations and political parties meant to act as an organised opposition to the political class that has dominated Iraqi politics since 2003. However, in response to the increased use of violent coercion and targeted assassinations against activists, many have since began to campaign for a widespread boycott of the upcoming elections. In light of these developments, this panel will ask what’s next for the Iraqi protest movement. Chair: • Hanaa Edwar – Iraqi Al Amal Association Speakers: • Inas Jabbar – Iraqi Women Network • Omar Al Jaffal – Journalist • Taif Alkhudary – LSE Middle East Centre

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