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Candidates Withdrawal of Iraq's Elections Raises Doubt over its Integrity

Candidates Withdrawal of Iraq's Elections Raises Doubt over its Integrity

Thursday, 24 June, 2021 - 11:45
Protesters hold pictures of people who have been killed in anti-government protests during a demonstration calling for the government to resign, in Baghdad, Iraq, on November 29, 2020. (AP)

The Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission said dozens of candidates decided to drop out of the country's parliamentary elections scheduled for October 10, raising doubts over the poll's credibility.

This came as hundreds of candidates had their candidacy withdrawn over their ties to the Baath party.

The Commission's spokesman, Hasan Salman, said the withdrawal requests are under review, noting that some might be rejected.

According to Salman, the electoral commission was not concerned if the decisions to drop out were personal choices or came under pressure, but rather cares if the candidates's requests met certain criteria.

Notably, the UN Security Council unanimously approved an Iraqi request for a UN team to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections.

In 2019, tens of thousands of Iraqi protesters took to the streets against a government seen by demonstrators as corrupt, during which nearly 600 people have died.

The deaths sparked outrage across the country and prompted the resignation of then-premier Adel Abdel Mahdi.

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