The sun traveled to the edge of the horizon, unfurling its colors. The birds chirped, welcoming the night. The Mysticals took advantage of this beautiful moment. They sat in Felix’s garden with their cups of milk. Verum and Felix also nibbled on some cookies.

“Verum, why don’t you take out your crystal ball and do a bit of world-gazing?” suggested Orak, “I know you have it with you.”

Verum smiled sheepishly and said, “Last Sunday, Iraq held early elections. They were held in response to mass protests that broke out in the country in 2019. This is the first time that the people of Iraq voted because of the protestors’ demands! Along with this, the elections were conducted under a new law. This law divides the country into smaller constituencies (administrative parts) and allows a greater number of independent candidates to participate.”

“That sounds like a step in the right direction,” said Orak.

“You would think that,” said Verum, “But that’s not quite the case.”

“Why is that so?” said Orak.

“The government responded to the protests in a violent manner. At least 600 people lost their lives,” said Verum, “So, even though the government gave in and held early elections, some of the protestors weren’t keen on voting. Their disinterest was especially because a series of kidnappings led to the deaths of 35 more people.”

“What happened then? Did people vote during the elections?” said Felix.

“Unfortunately, no. The voter turnout was a record low at 41%. Many people felt that the elections wouldn’t improve their lives,” said Verum, “After all, Iraqis have been living under conflict for many years now. The United States (US) invaded the country in 2003. And in the past 10 years, Iraq has fought a war against Islamic State, a militant group with extremist ideas.”

“It must have been so difficult for the people,” said Scorch.

“But who won the election?” said Orak.

“The political party of Muqtada al-Sadr, a religious leader, is set to win the elections,” said Verum, “He is followed by former-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. But reports show that many candidates who are in favor of reform and change have also won seats in the Parliament.”

“If there are any developments, do keep us updated,” said Felix.