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Iraq MPs Fail to Vote on Postponement of Parliamentary Polls

Iraq MPs Fail to Vote on Postponement of Parliamentary Polls

Friday, 19 January, 2018 - 08:15
Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri. Reuters

Iraqi lawmakers have failed to agree on the postponement of the legislative elections to December, Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri announced on Thursday.

The elections are set to take place in May.

Jabouri’s announcement came as the US Embassy in Baghdad said Washington supports holding parliamentary elections on May 12 as planned by Iraq's government, criticizing calls to postpone the vote.

"Postponing the elections would set a dangerous precedent, undermining the constitution and damaging Iraq’s long-term democratic development," the embassy said in a statement.

To that end, the US “is providing assistance that will help ensure that all Iraqi voices are heard and counted, including the approximately 2.6 million Iraqis who remain displaced from their homes in the liberated areas.”

“USAID is assisting in the training of local civil society groups in election monitoring and providing Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) with six elections advisers who will help IHEC strengthen its electoral systems, personnel, and processes,” the statement said.

The embassy pledged to “enfranchise internally displaced Iraqis by focusing on voter registration and ensuring electronic voting systems are effective, improve provincial electoral administrative capacity to support voting in recently liberated areas (and) help the new IHEC Board of Commissioners finalize a sound operational plan for the May 2018 elections.”

The mission stressed that support for Iraq’s democratic institutions is a key part of Washington’s ongoing commitment to a federal, democratic, prosperous, and unified Iraq.

“By exercising their constitutional right to vote, Iraqis will signal their commitment to governance through peaceful processes rather than through violence,” the statement added.

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