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Shia movement rejects demands to postpone Iraq elections

Ammar Al-Hakim, an Iraqi cleric and politician, speaks during a conference in Baghdad, Iraq on 17 May 2017 [Murtadha Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

The Iraqi Wisdom Movement led by the head of the Shia National Alliance, Ammar Al-Hakim, rejected yesterday demands made by Sunni parties and blocs in the Iraqi parliament to postpone the general elections scheduled for 12 May to next year.

“We are surprised that members of the House of Representatives in the Alliance of Iraqi National Forces and some other forces have submitted a request contrary to the constitution, demanding to postpone the elections for one year with vague excuses” Fadi Shammari, a member of the Wisdom Movement Political Bureau said in a statement.

Shammari described in the statement the blocs’ request as a “blatant violation of the parliamentary oath to respect the constitution and abide by its contexts”.

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“We will work in the Al-Fatih coalition [led by Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi] and the Wisdom Movement with our other partners to abort behaviour that is harmful to political life” he added.

The Alliance of Iraqi National Forces officially proposed yesterday to postpone the elections scheduled for 12 May this year to 2019. The forces have also proposed to amend the federal budget for 2018.

Sunni political forces demand to postpone the elections until some 3 million displaced people return to their areas in Sunni-dominated provinces in the north and west of the country.

On Tuesday Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said that the general elections scheduled for 12 May will go ahead as planned.

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