“Conditions for elections are inadequate,” says Ayad Allawi

Calls to postpone the general election are growing stronger as the number of political parties withdrawing from competition increases.

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Ayad Allawi, the head of the al-Wataniya Coalition and the founder of the Iraqi National Accord party, hinted at the possibility of delaying the early elections at a press conference today. “Conditions under which the elections would take place are inadequate,” Allawi said.

He also called for the US and Iran to settle their dispute outside Iraq. “Iran and the US should leave Iraqis alone and look for ways to solve their problems,” he continued.

Earlier, Allawi’s Wataniya, announced that they would not be competing in the upcoming early elections scheduled to take place in October.

Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, the head of the largest political bloc in the Iraqi Parliament and the Sadrist Movement, had also withdrawn from the elections. Sadr had declared his boycott decision on July 15. He further announced that he would not support any government formed as a result of the October 10 elections.

The Iraqi Communist Party, which formed an alliance with the Sadr Movement in the 2018 general elections, and the Iraqi National Dialogue Front are also among the political parties withdrawing from the elections.

The Independent High Electoral Commission in Iraq (IHEC), the state body responsible for organizing and overseeing elections, had declared a postponement of the elections was not on the agenda following Sadr’s withdrawal.

The possibility of postponement could be on IHEC’s table as the list of parties boycotting the elections grows.

Holding the early elections was high on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s mandate when he took office in May 2020 after country-wide protests against corruption, militia rule, and mismanagement of state resources forced out former PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s government.

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