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Iraq Sunni powers refuse elections before return of 3m IDPs

Iraqi women with children, who fled from Havice district due to the ongoing operations held by Iraqi army and Peshmerga against Daesh, arrive to take shelter in Peshmerga controlled Dibis district of Kirkuk, Iraq on 30 September 2017 [Ali Mukarrem Garip/Anadolu Agency]
Iraqi women with children, who fled from Havice district due to the ongoing operations held by Iraqi army and Peshmerga against Daesh, arrive to take shelter in Peshmerga controlled Dibis district of Kirkuk, Iraq on 30 September 2017 [Ali Mukarrem Garip/Anadolu Agency]

The Coalition of National Forces in Iraq, the main representative of political Sunni forces, said yesterday that parliamentary elections would not be transparent while there are around three million displaced Iraqis, the Anadolu Agency reported.

Iraq had announced it would carry out elections in May 2018, however the head of the coalition, Ahmed Al-Masari, said: “The aim of the elections is to carry out reforms and having real and qualified representatives for the Iraqis who represent the voters without pressure.”

He said that this would not be achieved in  light of the current “disastrous circumstance” as there are more than 2.9 million displaced people “living in bad conditions as they cannot return back to their destroyed cities” which are controlled by armed groups “affiliated to certain security services”.

Read: Top Iraqi Shia cleric says paramilitaries should be part of state security bodies

Al-Masari said in a statement: “The results will be affected and will be in favour of these sides [the security services].” He called on the UN to help the Iraqi government:

to carry out democratic and transparent elections through which the Iraqis express their will freely.

The statement noted that the head of the UN mission told Al-Masari that he “understands the fears of the coalition regarding the elections.”

He said, according to the statement, that he would work with the Iraqi government, in cooperation with the international community, to afford a suitable atmosphere for elections, as well as to help the internally displaced people to return to their cities.

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