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With parliamentary elections set for May 12, most of the campaign has so far consisted of prominent major figures such as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Speaker Salim al-Jabouri giving speeches in their capacity as elected officials – part of the informal campaigning that has gone on before the April 14 start date.Abadi has responded by criticizing the media.Abadi's order is not feasible because ministry and other state employees lack the capacity to implement the public services badly needed, and it is no more than an election promise. After providing further details about this national effort during his April 10 news conference, Abadi said (perhaps too optimistically) that people understood that although the government was working on these problems, it could not solve all of them before the elections.There have been protests elsewhere, many of them stirred up by Abadi's own efforts to reform the electricity sector, leading Abadi to backtrack and increase electricity subsidies. Baghdad elects 69 of the next Parliament's 329 seats, and Abadi is hoping his list will pick up enough seats there to offset his diminished support in the southern nine Shiite-majority provinces, which together elect only 125 seats.
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