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Iraq prime minister calls early elections for June 2021

作者:admin 2020-08-03

Iraq will hold its next parliamentary elections nearly a year early, in June 2021, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has announced.

"June 6, 2021, has been fixed as the date for the next legislative elections," he said on Friday in a televised speech.

"Everything will be done to protect and ensure the success of these polls."

The United Nations praised al-Kadhimi's announcement saying it would promote "greater stability and democracy".

Al-Kadhimi came to power in May after months of protests forced his predecessor to resign.

The next parliamentary elections had originally been due to take place in May 2022. Iraq's parliament must still ratify the election date.

A key demand of protesters

Elections in Iraq are sometimes marred by violence and often by fraud.

Early elections are a key demand of anti-government protesters who staged months of mass demonstrations last year and were killed in their hundreds by security forces and gunmen suspected of links to armed groups.

The mass protests that began in October, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets of Baghdad and across the south, demanded the political system be dismantled, pointing to endemic corruption and what many see as the malign influence of sectarian interests.

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