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Amendments to Iraqi provincial elections law spark controversy

Large political blocs in the Iraqi parliament voted for a new law organizing provincial elections for 2020 that gives the blocs an advantage over smaller groupings.
An Iraqi woman arrives to cast her vote at a polling station during the parliamentary election in the Sadr city district of Baghdad, Iraq May 12, 2018. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC18D4CCE020
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BAGHDAD — Recent amendments made to the provincial and district council elections law have sparked a wave of criticism in Iraq as the national parliament adopted a change in the Sainte-Lague voting system formula that was rejected by small blocs and parties, as well as by elites, human rights organizations and civil society organizations.

Parliament voted July 22 to amend the provincial elections law and adopt a first electoral divisor of 1.9 under the Sainte-Lague proportional representation seat-allocation system, compared with 1.7 in the 2018 elections for the national parliament. The higher divisor will give large electoral blocs a greater advantage over smaller blocs in terms of winning seats in local parliaments. 

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