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Iraq to hold snap election in June 2021: prime minister

Iraq will hold a snap parliamentary election on June 6, 2021, said Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Kadhimi said in a televised statement Friday evening that Iraqis will go to polls on June 6 next year.

“I announce June 6, 2021 as the date for the snap parliamentary election. We will do our best to make the election happen and protect it. We also call on the parliament to send the election law to the president in order to approve it,” said Kadhimi.

The election will take place with international monitoring and the government will ensure the security forces do not let anyone rig the vote, he added.

Iraq’s electoral system, built after the US invasion of 2003, divides the country into its ethnic components, divvying up power among Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds. One demand of protesters in late 2019 was to throw out the old political battle lines and create a technocratic government that serves all Iraqis.

A draft electoral law that could redraw the political map is in parliament now.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) welcomed Kadhimi’s announcement, saying “Early elections fulfill a key popular demand on the road to greater stability and democracy in Iraq.”

“The United Nations is ready to provide support and technical advice as requested by Iraq to ensure free, fair and credible elections that win the public’s trust.”

Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, said that “Properly conducted credible, free, fair and inclusive elections can re-energize the political system and build public confidence, giving the people a voice and realizing their aspirations for better representation.”

She added that the Iraqi government, parliament, political parties and other stakeholders should work together to make sure the election is “free, fair and credible.”

Speaking to the Iraqi people, the prime minister said, “Your free determination will build Iraq – the Iraq of hope, not the Iraq of crossfire.”

The last parliamentary election was held on May 12, 2018. Source