Iraq pushes back general elections to October
be prepared to hold fair and transparent elections.
Iraq’s cabinent on Tuesday postponed the country’s general election to October 10 2021, according to state media.
In a cabinet statement, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said that the decision to set a new date for the contest gave the country’s Independent High Election Commission (IHEC) more time to be prepared to ensure fair and transparent elections.
The election had been scheduled for June 6, a year earlier than normal. The IHEC on Monday requested a delay to allow the body more time to prepare.
Early elections were a central demand of protesters who took to the streets in anti-government demonstrations that swept through the country starting in October 2019.
Hundreds of protesters were killed by security forces and gunmen with suspected links to Iran-backed militia groups entrenched in the Iraqi state.
Protesters demanded fairer elections and changes to Iraq’s voting mechanism and election board after widespread accusation of fraud that tainted the last nationwide vote in 2018.
Kadhimi, the country’s present leader, was chosen by parliament in May to lead a government towards early elections.
Some activists fear the latest election delay by Kadhimi’s government could spark resentment among their ranks, interpreting it as a move to ignore demands to hold early elections.