Tasnim – Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi called an early general election for June 6, 2021, roughly a year ahead of when it would normally be held.

Iraqi’s parliament must still ratify the election date, Reuters reported.

Kadhimi was selected by parliament in May to head a government that would guide the country towards early elections. His predecessor Adel Abdul Mahdi quit under pressure from protests in December last year.

“June 6, 2021, has been fixed as the date for the next legislative elections,” the premier said during a televised speech on Friday, stressing that everything would be done in a bid to “protect and ensure the success of these polls.”

Mass protests swept over the capital Baghdad and the south of the country in October 2019, with young crowds demanding jobs, services, and urgent action against alleged rampant corruption.

The United Nations praised Kadhimi’s announcement saying it would promote “greater stability and democracy”.

Voter turnout in Iraq’s last election was 44.5 percent, but especially low in some impoverished southern areas.

The next legislative elections had originally been due for May 2022. After the date was drawn a year closer by the prime minister, it is now the parliament’s turn to officially vote on the new date.

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