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Elham AbolFateh

Middle East

Iraqi PM says national elections to be held next May 15

Sunday 19/November/2017 - 01:07 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by: Basant Ahmed
- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday said that the national elections in Iraq will be held as scheduled on May 15، urging Iraqi people to participate in the elections to support his anti-corruption plan in the coming years، Xinhua reported.
A statement by Abadi's office said the premier made his comments while visiting an electoral center in Baghdad in order to receive his own new voter card.
Abadi called on Iraqi citizens to participate in the elections، as "there is a campaign to fight corruption، which requires uniting the efforts of all (Iraqis) to eliminate it، just like we eliminated the gangs of terrorist Daesh (Islamic State group)،" Abadi said.
"The country is moving on the right path،" Abadi added.
Late on October، the Iraqi government decided to hold the parliamentary elections on May 15 of 2018، vowing that the federal government would provide a safe environment for the elections.
The federal government will work on returning the displaced people to their homes، and provided that "the parties running the elections must not have armed wings،" according to an earlier statement by Abadi's office on Oct. 31.
On Oct. 22، the Iraqi electoral commission said it suggested the next parliamentary election to be held on May 12، 2018 for the next four-year legislative term.
According to the Iraqi constitution، the parliamentary elections must be held at least 45 days before the end of the current legislative term، and the date of the elections must be set by a resolution of Abadi's cabinet in coordination with the Independent High Electoral Commission.
The elections date must be ratified later by the current parliament before the endorsement of the Presidential Council to be fully approved.
Iraq's previous general election was held on April 30، 2014، when Iraqis elected 328 lawmakers for the parliament، which in turn elected Abadi to form an inclusive government from the Shiite alliance، Kurds and Sunnis.
Moreover، it is not yet clear whether the Kurdish parties will join the Iraqi elections following the referendum on Sept. 25 on the independence of the Kurdish region and disputed areas.
The latest date for the elections came despite escalating tensions between Baghdad and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan due to the controversial independence referendum.

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