Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Friday set June 6, 2021, as a date for the early elections, which is part of his government’s political program.

In a televised speech, al-Kadhimi said, “I announce that June 6, 2021, will be the date for the early parliamentary elections and we will do our best to give success to this elections by protecting it and provide its needs”.

“I ask the parliament to send the electoral law to the presidency for approval, and that the electoral commission to enjoy full independence, in addition to that the elections to be held under international observers”, the Prime Minister further added.

Al-Kadhimi’s comments came after he had a meeting earlier on Thursday with the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), during which he confirmed that the government “is proceeding with the early elections, which is one of the main goals of the government program.”

Last year, thousands of protesters had blocked roads and bridges in the country and condemned Iranian influence and political leaders who missed another deadline to agree on a new prime minister.

On May 6, al-Kadhimi was sworn in as the new prime minister in Iraq, following the approval of the parliament on most of his cabinet members.

For Iraqis protesting since October 1, the system installed by the United States after it led a coalition to overthrow dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 has become dominated by Iran and is beyond reform.

Since 2003, elections have used a complicated mix of proportional representation and list voting that favours major parties and the heads of lists.