Al Kadhimi asks Iraqis to vote to end corruption

PM warns public against falling prey to 'false promises' during October 10 parliamentary elections

Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi delivers a speech during the vote on the new government at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, May 7, 2020. Iraqi Parliament Media Office/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi on Thursday urged the public to vote in coming elections to curb corruption.

The country will on October 10 hold a nationwide election to select a new parliament – a key demand of anti-government protesters who took to the streets in 2019.

They called on the government to bring forward elections that were originally scheduled to be held in May 2022.

“All the requirements of the electoral process have been fully completed,” Mr Al Kadhimi said.

“Iraq will come out with a result based on integrity and transparency in the upcoming elections, and there will be no nepotism, fraud and corruption at all costs."

The Iraqi official urged the public to vote in order for the country to rid itself of corruption.

The country is emerging from almost two decades of war and insurgency since the 2003 US-led invasion toppled dictator Saddam Hussein and promised to bring freedom and democracy.

Although parliamentary polls are to be held soon, there is little popular hope for major change through the ballot box, and widespread disillusionment about a political class widely seen as inept and corrupt.

Mr Al Kadhimi warned the public against allowing political candidates to gain votes illegally through fake appointments or the distribution of plots of land. He urged citizens to not believe in “false promises”.

"Seducing citizens with false allegations is totally unacceptable, the public should not be drawn towards it, this will be monitored by us," Mr Kadhimi said.

The Iraqi official stressed the need for communication between security services and the Electoral Commission.

"Information of abuses and violations that occur in the campaigns by the candidates must be given to security forces," he said.

The early polls were a concession to a protest movement that broke out in the autumn of 2019, venting anger against corruption, soaring youth unemployment and crumbling public services.

Updated: September 23rd 2021, 7:00 PM
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