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Iraqi communists demand early elections

IRAQI communists have called for early elections after a new government, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, was endorsed earlier this month following weeks of wrangling.

Two previous nominations for prime minister failed to win a consensus among sectarian and religious groupings in the Baghdad parliament.

Iraq has been rocked by a mass uprising since October 2019, with thousands taking to the streets demanding real political change and an end to the current system which was imposed following the 2003 US invasion and subsequent occupation.

More than 700 people are believed to have been killed as security services clamped down on dissent. 

One of the main demands of the protesters is the establishment of a transitional government to prepare for elections and to bring the perpetrators of violence to justice.

The Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) warned that the refusal of the ruling blocs to comply with the propesters’ demands deepened the political impasse which was further aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A new wave of protests has been triggered by a sharp fall in oil prices and a worsening economic crisis.

It has been coupled with a resurgence of terror attacks by Isis, which is seeking to take advantage of the deteriorating security situation.

ICP insisted that the demands of the popular uprising should be implemented as soon as possible, including early elections under UN supervision, and for the right of expression, the right to peaceful demonstrations and protests, civil freedoms and women's rights to be respected.

The party supports the ongoing protests, saying that popular pressure is necessary to force the prime minister to act.

“The new government will therefore be judged on the basis of what it actually achieves, in deeds not words, regarding these priorities and concrete measures,” a statement said.

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