In Rudaw 

Iraqi PM Kadhimi urges parliament to ‘swiftly’ pass draft electoral law

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi urged parliament’s speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi to press for the “swift” passage of the draft electoral law at a meeting on Saturday.

The top leaders “discussed the election law, and stressed the importance of passing it swiftly, in order to move forward with holding early elections next June,” according to a tweet by PM Kadhimi’s office.

Iraq’s electoral commission said in August it would be ready to hold early elections in June 2021, provided the government and parliament meet certain demands, including passing a new electoral law and allocating a budget for the vote.

The draft electoral law is currently moving through parliament, with hopes that it will solve past grievances with the voting process.

Iraq held its last parliamentary election on May 12, 2018, but many questioned the results and investigations against fraud were launched. It took the political parties months to form a new government led by Adil Abdulmahdi, who announced his resignation in late November 2019, but stayed in the position until his successor Kadhimi was sworn in in May 2020

Iraq’s electoral system, built after the US invasion of 2003, divides power among the country’s biggest ethnic components – Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds. Abandonment of the sectarian system was among demands made by protesters who took to Iraq’s streets in October 2019 and have stayed there.

Kadhimi announced in July that the country’s next parliamentary elections will take place on June 6, 2021, a year early.

In a meeting with Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, head of the UN mission in Iraq, earlier in the day, the PM stressed the UN’s role “in monitoring to ensure free and fair elections”.

Iraq has also requested European countries send foreign observers to the country for the scheduled snap election in June 2021, in an attempt at generating confidence in the future results, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein told Rudaw on Friday. Source