Iraq Delays Early Elections, Needs More Time
The Iraqi government on Tuesday postponed the country’s general elections set for June by at least four months, citing the need for more preparation time. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, who was selected in May by the Baghdadi parliament to replace his resigning predecessor, announced that the new date, penciled in for early October, would ensure fair and transparent elections. The early elections initially scheduled for June were announced after former Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi quit because of mounting pressure from nationwide protests in late 2019. The anti-government mass demonstrations saw hundreds of civilians killed by security forces and private gunmen suspected of links to militia groups. Tuesday’s announcement is expected to be met with harsh pushback from protesters, who see any delay in the long-demanded democratic process a threat to their achievements.