Iraq’s parliament approved a new election law on Tuesday aimed at giving political independents a better chance of winning seats in parliament. The new law changes each of the country’s 18 provinces into several electoral districts, with one legislator elected per 100,000 people.
It also prevents parties from running on unified lists, which in the past have helped them easily sweep all the seats in a specific province. Instead, seats will go to whoever gets the most votes in the electoral districts.
Drafting a new election law has been a key demand for the hundreds of thousands of protesters who have taken to the streets in Baghdad and the predominantly Shiite south since October 1. They have already forced Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to resign late last month.
Iraqi security forces have responded with lethal force, killing at least 400 people.Iraq’s 329-member parliament was elected in May 2018. The vote is held every four years, but the protesters have been demanding early elections.