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  • At least 355 people have been killed and ​​​​​​tens of thousands injured since the Iraqi uprising started in October.

    At least 355 people have been killed and ​​​​​​tens of thousands injured since the Iraqi uprising started in October. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 December 2019

“The moment of real change of the status quo has arrived,” the party said.

Iraq’s Communist Party (ICP) continue to call for the resignation of the whole government, a total replacement of the current system by a new one, and for the uprising to continue with the same motivation and power until people’s demands are met.

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As massive demonstrations over unemployment, rampant corruption, poor delivery of services, and sectarianism, are gaining momentum, the ICP -the country’s oldest existing political party- issued a statement calling the current system a “terrible failure at all levels,” and said the popular revolt has created “a new reality” with people not taking to the streets and risking their lives for “partial solutions and cosmetic reforms.”

“The moment of a real change of the status quo has arrived,” the party said, adding “it begins with changing the government, the mechanisms for its formation and the policy of governance, and ends with establishing a state based on citizenship, true democracy, and social justice.”

Concerning the party’s economic propositions, ICP members claim that Iraq is still in a stage of "capitalist development," and suggest that a mixed-economy, a "social market" is the most rational way to help the country advance, along with the promotion of structures such as trade unions and social security.

"People are insisting on social justice, that means they are against ultra-liberalism - those who call for a free-market economy, in our condition that means polarization of wealth and poverty and lack of development," the party’s General Secretary Raid Fahmi told the Middle East Eye.

"You may have islands of development but you will have not social and economic development," he said.

The party, which topped polls as part of Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoun coalition in the 2018 general election, demand a transitional government with “exceptional powers” not formed on the current quota system, as well as a “peaceful and smooth constitutional handover of power” and fresh elections.

Political prisoners detained during the uprising must also be released and those who have killed protesters brought to justice, the party said.

The quota system was put in place after the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, imposing an inflexible system through which key roles within the government are assigned to a Kurd, a Sunni Muslim and a Shia Muslim, while the country’s political parties are largely perceived as confessionalist and clientelist.

So far, the ICP is the only party to have fully left the parliament as a result of the government's fierce and disproportionate crackdown on protests. At least 355 people have been killed and ​​​​​​ tens of thousands injured as live rounds have been fired on crowds since the demonstrations started.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned last week in a bid to calm down the protesters and Parliament approved it on Sunday. President Barham Salih said it was contingent on Iraqi parties to reach an agreement over a replacement, with the process likely to take months.

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