Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi announced the appointment of June 6 next year as the date for early parliamentary elections, amid an international welcome.

Al-Kazimi said in a televised speech that he will work to make these elections successful and protect them, calling on Parliament to send the new election law to the President of the Republic for approval.

Early elections are among the main demands of anti-government protesters who staged months of mass demonstrations last year, hundreds of whom were killed by security forces and gunmen suspected of links to armed factions.

In May, al-Kazemi chose parliament to head a government leading the country toward early elections. His predecessor, Adel Abdel Mahdi, resigned under pressure from the protests in December.

Activists have also called for more fair elections and changes to the country's voting process and the Electoral Commission, after widespread accusations of fraud in the last nationwide elections in 2018.

The United Nations praised Al-Kazemi's announcement of early elections, and said it would promote "more stability and democracy" in the country.

The most recent elections were held in Iraq in May 2018, and the upcoming elections were supposed to be held in May 2022.

However, between October and the beginning of the year, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators occupied squares in Baghdad and in all cities of the south of the country, calling for the overthrow of the political system and all of its men.

The protesters - who took to the streets with hundreds of thousands last year - are accused of the political elite, especially the deputies, of exploiting Iraq’s oil wealth to profit for themselves.

The protestors condemned the widespread corruption and sharing of positions based on tribal and sectarian affiliations, to serve the interests of the parties that have established themselves in power.