Protests in Iraq may unseat the government

Source:Atlantic Council Date:19Oct2019

What is  this?  A new Arab Spring.  Along with Iraq, Lebanon, too is in disarray:


The protesters want economic and political reforms that ensure social justice, economic opportunities, prosecution of corrupt officials, and genuine representation. Abdul-Mahdi’s government is offering superficial remedies that are not achievable. The government’s investigative committee has come under attack for its lack of credibility and because its formation is seen as means to prevent real accountability.

In the coming two weeks, if the government is not perceived as responding effectively to the demonstrators’ demands and holding accountable those who killed protestors, it is likely that Sistani will further harden his position in favor of the protesters, and that the demonstrations will intensify, perhaps leading to greater violence. If this occurs, the viability of Abdul-Mahdi’s government will be at risk, and with it perhaps the entire political order, leading the country into unpredictable instability, which will be exacerbated by the threat of an emboldened ISIS. The prime minister, and the country, has everything to gain from bypassing the usual vested interests and responding boldly and expeditiously to the demands of protesters and Sistani in Najaf.


Lebanon protests