Turnout at 1 percent

Low voter turnout in Abu Dsheer, south of Baghdad, amid Sadrists’ boycott

BAGHDAD, December 18 — Voter turnout in the Abu Dsheer area, south of Baghdad, did not exceed one percent in Monday’s provincial council elections, according to polling center staff, following a boycott by supporters of the Sadr Movement.

Polling centers in Abu Dsheer witnessed low turnout since opening at 7 a.m., not exceeding one percent of those registered on voter lists within the electoral centers, according to some staff.

The low numbers are believed to be in part because of a boycott by followers of Muqtada Al-Sadr, many of whom live in the area. Meanwhile, participating voters hope to elect candidates who will contribute to service improvements.

Ahmed Ali, a election boycotter, told 964, “We boycotted and will not vote, under the command of our leader, the Sadr Movement leader Muqtada Al-Sadr. These elections mean nothing to us, but at the same time, we made sure not to commit any violations.”

Voter Hassan Adnan offered a different perspective. “I participated in the elections to change the service reality by choosing a competent candidate who will serve our area and work to develop it. The elections are proceeding normally without pressure or problems,” he said.