Iraqi PM prioritises holding fair parliamentary polls

Baghdad, May 10 (IANS) Iraq's news Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said that one of his government's first priorities was to hold fair parliamentary elections in the country.

On Saturday, the Prime Minister chaired the first regular session of his cabinet to discuss several issues, including ensuring safe conditions for early elections, as well as supporting the work of the country's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), reports Xinhua news agency.

One of the meeting's decisions included requesting the Council of Representatives (Parliament) to complete the voting on the new elections draft in order to send it to the presidency for approval, his office said in a statement said.

The cabinet also decided to provide logistical support to the IHEC to enable it to conduct elections after setting a date, the statement added.

Late last year, the Iraqi Parliament passed most of the elections draft, but differences remained on a few articles due to the political row among political blocs.

The first cabinet meeting came after al-Kadhimi was sworn in on May 6 as the new Prime Minister in Iraq, putting an end to more than five months of political turmoil.

Al-Kadhimi took the reins as Iraq struggles to surmount a deep economic, political and institutional crisis after months of protests that left more than 500 people dead and a public health emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The nation had been without a permanent prime minister since November 29, 2019 when Adel Abdul-Mahdi resigned in the wake of mass anti-government rallies, only to end up leading a caretaker government for more than five months as two other potential premiers failed to win sufficient support in Parliament.



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