Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 7 August 2020

Iraqi prime minister sets June 2021 for early election

Mustafa Al Kadhimi vowed to hold early elections as part of his government programme

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi speaks at the Mandali crossing on the border with Iran during a visit to Diyala province on July, 11, 2020. via AP
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi speaks at the Mandali crossing on the border with Iran during a visit to Diyala province on July, 11, 2020. via AP

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi said on Friday that early elections will be held on June 6, 2021, in a move to display his power over the country.

Mr Al Kadhimi, who was the intelligence chief and a former journalist, took office in early May and vowed to ensure that his interim government will organise transparent early elections.

“I announce that June 6 of 2021 will be the date for early parliamentary elections, and we will do our best to make this election successful,” Mr Al Kadhimi said in a televised speech.

Mr Al Kadhimi requested that parliament send the election law to President Barham Salih for enactment.

"I urge young people and intellectuals to prepare to get involved in the upcoming elections, " Mr Al Kadhimi said.

The Prime Minister called the public to “line up and vote to change the political scene in the country.”

The United Nations Mission in Iraq welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement and said that early elections fulfil a key popular demand on the road to greater stability and democracy in Iraq.

“Properly conducted credible, free, fair and inclusive elections can re-energize the political system and build public confidence, giving the people a voice and realising their aspirations for better representation,” the UN representative to Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, said in a statement.

“It is the responsibility of the government, parliament, political parties and other stakeholders to jointly ensure free, fair and credible elections in a conducive environment that places the interests of the country above all other considerations”.

Mr Al Kadhimi addressed the issue of the recent anti-government protests in which three people were killed and dozens injured when security forces used hunting rifles against them.

“We are committed to investigating the killing of protesters and will hold perpetrators to trial for spilling Iraqi blood,” he added.

Updated: July 31, 2020 10:56 PM

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