Explainer: Why are Iraq’s elections important?

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Iraq’s elections on Sunday come with enormous challenges. Iraq’s economy has been battered by years of conflict, endemic corruption and more recently, the coronavirus pandemic. State institutions are failing, the country’s infrastructure is crumbling. Powerful paramilitary groups increasingly threaten the authority of the state, and hundreds of thousands of people are still displaced from the years of war against the Islamic State group. While few Iraqis expect a meaningful change in their day-to-day lives, the parliamentary elections will shape the direction of Iraq’s foreign policy at a key …

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