Politics & Economics

Iraqi Parliament Holds First Session Following Violence Protests

Iraq

Despite the continuation of protests in Iraq, Parliament has held its urgent special session to discuss ways to tackle the issues raised by demonstrators.

Muhammad al-Halbousi, the speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, chaired the urgent special session in the Iraqi Parliament despite fears that MPs would boycott the session due to the ongoing protests in the country and the recent rise in violence.

“Victims of the demonstrations, both civilians and security forces, must be considered martyrs and their families will be compensated along with those wounded. Investigative procedures should also be followed to find out the circumstances and events affecting the demonstrators and detainees who should be released immediately”, stated Halbousi in his speech at Parliament.

By the end of the session, Parliament passed eight decisions the most important of which is the dissolution of the General Inspectors position, which was reinstated by the Prime Minister on 8th August, in addition to the freezing of the Provincial Councils and dissolution of the local and district councils. This latest decision was likely voted as many citizens have complained that these councils have delayed many projects from being implemented due to bureaucratic procedures, indicating an effort to show good faith to the protesters.

In addition, MPs came to an agreement on the release of individuals who were arrested during the protests.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi had recently endorsed a number of economic reforms, including subsidies for housing and training for the unemployed in a bid to appease the protesters.

The parliamentary session took place following the re-opening of the Green Zone, where most governmental institutions are located. It was closed as a result of attempts made by protesters to break into the Green Zone.

The past few days have also seen restrictions imposed on the Internet in order to prevent the spread of news regarding the protests and to hinder the organisation of further demonstrations.

The Iraqi President Barham Salih made a televised speech at the start of the week calling for dialogue and a halt of violence after a week of protests that turned violent when the military used excessive force against demonstrators.