The Iraqi Council of Ministers set October 10, 2021, a new date for early elections, while this new date requested by the Electoral Commission in Iraq was met by different political reactions between supporters and opponents.
A government source confirmed to the Iraqi News Agency (INA) that the council voted during a session held today and hosted the members of the High Electoral Commission to set the new date for early elections, instead of the previous scheduled date on 6 June.
The leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, expressed his annoyance at the election commission’s request to postpone its date.
Al-Sadr stipulated in a tweet on Twitter that the new date be the last postponement of the early elections, which the government promised to hold in order to ward off corruption, injustice, occupation and normalization.
- Muqtada al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr (@Mu_AlSadr) January 18, 2021
For its part, the Al-Fateh Alliance led by Hadi Al-Amiri, which is the largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament, expressed its deep concern for the postponement of the early elections, usually in contravention of what was agreed upon that the elections will be within a period of one year from the formation of the government.
In a statement, the coalition expressed its fear that this delay would be a reason to delay it to 2022, stressing the need to hold the elections on its new date, indicating that the Al-Fateh Alliance will not accept any further postponement.
In turn, the Iraqi Forces Alliance, led by Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi, said that the government's intention to change the date of early parliamentary elections is to "renounce its promises and retreat from its obligations to the Iraqi people."
In a statement, the coalition described this approach by the government as "evading its recent agreements and the consensus of the Iraqi presidencies and political forces" to hold the elections on time.
On the other hand, the Secretary-General of the Islamic Party, Rashid al-Azzawi, considered securing the integrity of the elections more important than holding them at the present time, while the former governor of Nineveh, Atheel al-Nujaifi, accused the House of Representatives of manipulating the election date and mocking the Iraqi people.
For his part, Ali Al-Bayati, a member of the High Commission for Human Rights, said that postponing the elections is an opportunity for the Iraqi government to gain the confidence of the street and work hard to restore lost confidence in the political process and state institutions.
# Postponement of the elections is an opportunity for the government to offer something, even a little, to gain the confidence of the street and work hard to restore lost confidence in the political process and state institutions.
Ali Al Bayati (@aliakramalbayat) January 18, 2021
The Iraqi Independent Election Commission had proposed to the government a few days ago to change the date of early parliamentary elections from June 6 to October 16, noting that the postponement decision came after several meetings held between the Board of Commissioners and the Iraqi presidencies, in the presence of the head of the United Nations mission in Iraq.
The success of the elections
In a related context, Iraqi President Barham Salih and Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, stressed the need to support all measures necessary for the success of the elections, to prevent fraud and manipulation, and to seriously invite international observers in coordination with the relevant department in the United Nations mission, and to ensure the opportunity for wide participation in the elections.
Saleh and Al-Kazemi also stressed during a meeting Monday evening in Baghdad the importance of "strengthening the authority of the security services, law enforcement, protecting community peace and security, preventing illegal actions and controlling fugitive weapons," according to a statement issued by the President's Office.
The President of the Republic
Emphasizing the need to support measures to ensure the success of the elections, prevent fraud and manipulation, and seriously invite international observers in coordination with the relevant department of the United Nations Mission, and ensure the opportunity for broad participation in the elections ... pic.twitter.com/9k8gBc5u7C
- Presidency of the Republic of Iraq (@IraqiPresidency) January 18, 2021