Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced that his government and the political parties are determined to hold the parliamentary elections as scheduled on October 10.
Al-Kadhimi’s comment came during his meeting with leaders of the political parties in the presence of Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, head of the Supreme Judicial Council, the country’s electoral commission, and the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, the Prime Minister’s media office said in a statement.
He stressed his government’s insistence on holding the elections on time and confirmed its ability to provide an appropriate atmosphere for them, Xinhua news agency reported.
“Al-Kadhimi and the political parties renewed the call for the political blocs that boycotted the elections to reverse their decision,” the statement said.
He also suggested forming a committee of political parties to open a dialogue with the boycotting parties to persuade them to change their decision, it added.
Earlier in July, a political bloc led by prominent Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced the withdrawal of his bloc from the parliamentary elections, citing “rampant corruption and unfair competition” among political parties.
About a week later, the Iraqi Communist Party also withdrew from the elections, saying the political parties are “not serious” in achieving the demands of popular protests that broke out in 2019, and “the upcoming elections are nothing but a change of faces”.
Late last month, the Iraqi National Dialogue Front led by Salih al-Mutlak announced in a statement the withdrawal from the elections due to “the failure to provide a safe environment for early elections and the proliferation of out-of-control weapons”.
Iraq is scheduled to hold early elections on October 10 in response to the anti-government protests against corruption and lack of public services.
The previous parliamentary elections were held in Iraq on May 12, 2018, and the next elections were originally scheduled to take place in 2022.