Thu, 25 Feb 2021

State Media: Iraq to Postpone General Elections by Four Months

Voice of America
20 Jan 2021, 06:05 GMT+10

Iraq's Cabinet members voted unanimously Tuesday to postpone this year's general elections from June 6 until October 10, according to the state news agency INA.

The decision came after the country's electoral commission urged more time to organize the polls in order to conduct free and fair elections. The postponed vote would still be a year earlier than the official end date of parliament's term in 2022.

Last year, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi called an early general election for June 2021, months ahead of the original date. The decision came in response to the demands from anti-government protesters, who since 2019 have staged months of mass demonstrations and been killed by the hundreds by both government forces and militia groups.

Back in 2020, the United Nations praised Kadhimi's announcement, saying it would promote "greater stability and democracy" in Iraq.

In a meeting Monday between Kadhimi and President Barham Salih, both sides reiterated "the need to consolidate stability in the country, preserve the security and safety of citizens, strengthen the authority of the security services and enforce the law, protect community peace and security, prevent illegal actions and control fugitive weapons."

In the last Iraqi election in 2018, voter turnout was at 44.5 percent.

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