Iraq’s parliament has picked 12 May as election day. Calls for postponement by Sunni and Kurdish deputies were rejected with Supreme Court ruling against it. The campaign set to focus on corruption and reconstruction. Iraqi Church urges greater participation at home and abroad.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) – On the proposal of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the Iraqi parliament has set 12 May as the official date for this year’s parliamentary election.
Iraq’s Council of Representatives did not take into account requests from Sunni and Kurdish members to postpone the poll to allow hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the war against the Islamic State to return home.
Iraq’s Chaldean patriarchate issued a statement about the election, calling it a “democratic act” that offers the "possibility of change".
Iraqis, the Church said, will be able to "choose their representatives" in state bodies, which is why broad participation in the electoral process is needed "at home and abroad".
To achieve "prosperity and progress", the Chaldean patriarchate calls for updating voters’ lists so that everyone can exercise their right to vote, express their support for "expert, patriotic, honest and capable” candidates, and avoid "inexperienced and opportunist" people.
With respect to the request for postponement, the Supreme Court ruled that it would go against the constitution.
Three years after the start of the war against the Islamic State, the upcoming poll will be crucial for the country’s future.
In picking their representatives, voters will also choose the next prime minister who will lead the country for the next four years. The post is reserved for a Shia, Iraq’s majority community.
The outgoing premier, Haider al-Abadi, is running on his record as a strong leader after the military victory over the Islamic State.
The next parliament will face a number of priorities, including reconstruction and the fight against corruption, a chronic problem in the oil-rich country.
Former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Hadi al-Amiri, a former Transportation Minister, are among other contenders for the top executive job.
The Iraqi government estimates that at least US$ 100 billion will be needed to rebuild housing, businesses, and infrastructure destroyed in the war.
However, corruption remains the main obstacle for new foreign investments. According to Transparency International, Iraq ranks tenth most corrupt country in the world today. (DS)