Will the Iraqi government finally step down after 17 years?

Protests in Iraq calling for system overhaul

In the past couple of weeks, Iraqis have taken to the streets of Southern Iraq, demanding the current ruling government to step down, as well as an overhaul of the whole political system and elite set up by the US following their invasion in 2003 aimed at removing Saddam Hussein. The protests erupted over the failure of the government in the Iraqi people’s eyes in instilling any form of political or economic stability in the nation. This has been driven by anger over official corruption, high unemployment and poor public services, the protesters have dismissed government pledges to enact limited economic reforms, pressing instead for the removal of the entire political class. The protests have resulted in extreme violence on the streets, as more than 300 people have been killed by security forces since the demonstrations began on October 1. The US has once again stepped in to try and find a befitting solution, officially calling for an early election, but the protesters do not want this snap election, as they believe it will not solve the political issues in the country. For many, the quota-based system set up by the US since the defeat of Saddam Hussein over the years allowed certain individuals and groups to enrich themselves and expand their influence – all the while much of the oil-rich country’s population continued to endure severe economic hardship and poor public services.

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