Rudaw

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Iraqi MPs doubt parliamentary elections will be held on time

Members of Iraq’s parliament have expressed doubt that Iraq’s early elections, set for June 6, 2021, will take place on time.

Qasim Fahdawi, the country’s former electricity minister and an MP from the Iraqi Front, a Sunni party in the Iraqi parliament, accused politicians part of larger blocs of deception in their talk of an election in the near future.

“There haven’t been any preparations for the election set for June. Unfortunately, nobody is talking about it frankly. All the parties are lying,” Fahdawi said.

“This is the problem Iraq has, there is a passiveness in the administration. Great leaders do not lie to their people.”

Ahmad Kanani, a member of parliament from Fatih – one of parliament’s biggest blocs – said that “Kadhimi’s government is unable to hold early elections on time, as the set date is too close.”

Early elections were among demands made during the nationwide protests that began in October 2019.

Among the crowds of protesters was Ahmed Saadi, who is worried by talk of a delay to the vote. He called on prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to commit to his word and hold the elections a year earlier than originally scheduled.

“I speak on behalf of the youth who came to the streets and demanded change… We completely reject the parties’ idea to postpone it to September. We all protested for an early election to be held,” he said.

“God willing, there will be an election and change in June, like Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said.”

On Thursday evening, four of Iraq’s most senior officials – president Barham Salih, prime minister Kadhimi, parliament speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, and Supreme Judicial Council leader Chief Justice Faiq Zidan – met to discuss elections. It was reiterated in the meeting that the election would be held on time, according to an Iraqi Presidency statement.

Members of Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) were also at the meeting, and told the other attendees that though they have yet to finish their preparations, they are ready to run the elections on the scheduled date. Source