White House urges Iraq to hold early elections
November 11 2019 09:48 AM
Iraqi medical students wave the national flag as they take part in ongoing anti-government protests
Iraqi medical students wave the national flag as they take part in ongoing anti-government protests at their campus in the southern city of Basra

QNA/Washington

The United States urged the Iraqi government to hold early elections and carry out electoral reforms and called for the halt of violence against those participating in the ongoing anti-government protests in the country.

A statement issued by the White House said that the United States joins the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq in calling on the Iraqi government to halt the violence against protesters and fulfil Iraqi President Barham Salih's promise to pass electoral reforms and hold early elections.

The Statement expressed deep concern over continuing attacks against demonstrators, civic activists and the media, as well as restrictions on internet access in Iraq.

The White House added that it joins the United Nations in calling on the Iraqi government to stop violence against demonstrators and the adoption of the electoral reform law and early elections.

The United Nations on Sunday called on the Iraqi government to practice maximum restraint in the handling of the protests, including no use of live ammunition, and to investigate these murders and abductions.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement that the nationwide protests in Iraq began in early October and escalated in waves. People are demanding the ouster of the government, as well as economic reforms, better living conditions, social welfare and an end to corruption.

UNAMI also called for the release of all peaceful demonstrators detained since October 1, in accordance with the law, and not to target the peaceful demonstrators, as well as to initiate full investigation of cases of abduction (including by making available CCTV footage), and reveal the identity of those responsible.

Over the past weeks, demonstrations erupted in Baghdad and other governorates in Iraq. Protester demands cover a wide spectrum of issues, including economic growth and employment, reliable public service, credible elections as well as broader reform of the political system - including amendments to the constitution. (QNA)




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