Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Friday called an early general election for June 6, 2021, roughly a year ahead of when it would normally be held, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Early elections are a key demand of Iraqi anti-government protesters who staged months of mass demonstrations last year and were killed in their hundreds by security forces and gunmen suspected of links to militia groups.
Iraqi’s parliament must still ratify the election date.
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.
Activists have also demanded fairer elections and changes to Iraq’s voting process and election committee after widespread accusations of fraud in the last nationwide vote in 2018.
The United Nations praised Kadhimi’s announcement saying it would promote “greater stability and democracy”.