Iraq’s Sadr calls for U.N. supervision in early elections

Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr delivers a statement in support of the early elections outside of his home in Najaf, on Feb.10, 2021. (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraq’s Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Wednesday expressed his support for the early elections to be overseen by the United Nations.

In a rare press conference outside of his home in Najaf, Sadr appearing in a surgical mask and traditional clerical robes warned against further delays.

Iraq is set to hold early parliamentary elections this year, a central demand of an anti-government protest movement which erupted in 2019 and involved Sadr’s supporters.

The elections were initially set for June, but have since been postponed to October.

“Delaying the elections would be a disaster for Iraq,” Sadr said, warning that rival parties would try to rig the vote, according to AFP.

“I don’t want fraud. That’s why I am asking the U.N. intervention and supervision,” he added.

Spokesperson of Iraqi electoral commission Jumana al-Ghalai has said more than 25 million people are eligible to vote in the elections.

The elections will be taking place under a new electoral law that has reduced the size of constituencies and eliminated list-based voting in favor of votes for individual candidates.

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