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Iraq postpones parliamentary elections to October

Iraq’s council of ministers has voted to postpone parliamentary elections until October 10th, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.

The postponement of elections from June 6 to October 10 “is not a deviation from the principle of an early election, for it will happen in any case, and we have not compromised on early elections for it is popular demand supported by the Marja and it is part of the government’s program,” Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi said, refering to Iraq’s highest Shiite authority, during today’s cabinet meeting, according to a statement published on the PM office’s Telegram channel. The meeting was attended by members of Iraq’s electoral commission.

“The Iraqi people deserve an early and fair election with international observation. We support the commission to carry out its historic role at this stage to ensure the success of the elections.”

Iraq’s electoral commission decided on Tuesday to extend the registration period of political alliances for the upcoming Iraqi elections, after saying the elections should be postponed from June to October.

The decision was made as a result of low registration numbers, it said, and registration will close upon a further decision from the commission.

Early elections were one of the demands of protests that began in October 2019 across central and southern Iraq. Kadhimi asked the commission in November to take “all necessary measures” to ensure the elections will be held as scheduled, and should “continuously work to guarantee a successful election.”

Iraqi President Barham Salih in November officially signed the electoral reforms into law, dividing provinces into smaller voting constituencies for the 2021 election.

Early elections have wide support among the political parties. All parties in parliament agree that early elections should be held this year, Sabah Talubi, a member of the Sairoon Alliance – the parliament’s biggest political bloc, led by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr – told state media on January 8. Source