Iraqi parliament speaker calls for setting date for early elections

Tension runs high in Iraq over failure to form new government.

Iraqi parliament speaker calls for setting date for early elections

Iraq’s Parliament Speaker Mohammad al-Halbousi on Sunday called for setting a date for early elections amid tension over failure to form a new government.

The call came one day after Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi urged the country’s political parties to hold a new round of national dialogue on Monday to resolve Iraq’s months-long political crisis.

“Setting a date for early parliamentary elections and provincial polls by the end of next year” should be on the agenda of the national dialogue, al-Halbousi said in a statement.

He also called for “electing a new president and a government agreed upon by the people and political powers.”

Tension has been running high across Iraq in recent weeks over failure of Shia groups to agree on a new prime minister since the country’s last elections Oct. 10, 2021.

More than 30 protesters were killed on Monday when supporters of influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stormed the Republican Palace, where the government is seated in Baghdad after the firebrand leader said he was stepping down from politics.

Hüseyin Demir

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