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Iraq protesters start hunger strike ahead of vote on new electoral law

People gather at Tahrir Square to protest against unemployment, corruption and lack of public services in Baghdad, Iraq on 25 October 2019. [Haydar Karaalp - Anadolu Agency]
People gather at Tahrir Square to protest against unemployment, corruption and lack of public services in Baghdad, Iraq on 25 October 2019. [Haydar Karaalp - Anadolu Agency]

Anti-government protesters stationed in Iraq's Tahrir Square in central Baghdad announced last night that they will launch a hunger strike to pressure the government to consider the protesters' demands when voting on the country's new electoral law today.

Photos of dozens of protesters covering their mouths with tape went viral on social media as a sign of their participation in the hunger strike.

Protesters said the hunger strike is a new method in the peaceful uprising which aims to pressure the House of Representatives to vote on the new election law in accordance with their demands.

It is also hoped that it will pressure President Barham Saleh to appoint the interim prime minister according to the protesters' conditions.

Demonstrators have demanded today's vote be broadcast live in an effort to increase transparency and end political corruption.

The constitutional deadline to propose a candidate for prime minister came to an end on Thursday last week however Barham extended it to yesterday.

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