Iraq Simmers

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Joel Wing keeps his eye on Iraqi protests:

Despite the authorities concerted effort, there are still weekly protests in Iraq. Their demands vary, but in general they have emphasized the lack of governance in the country. Services like electricity are still spotty, corruption is rampant, unemployment is highest amongst the young, not all the government positions have been filled one year after national elections, politicians are unresponsive to the demands of the public, etc. While the demonstrations do not threaten to overturn the system of government like in other parts of the region, they do pose a challenge to those in power.

Already several governors have been forced to step down, and Maliki has felt the heat as well. As a result, the prime minister has given his ministers 100 days to improve or else. At the same time, he has actively attempted to suppress the demonstrations, and coverage of them as well. Little is likely to change after that deadline, so people will still attempt to hit the streets. That could lead to a battle of wills between those angry at the condition of the country and who demand change, and the prime minister who would rather solidify his power over the nation and be done with the public outbursts.

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