Delay looks likely for Iraqi Elections

The Sunni blocs are already seeking a six-month delay in the elections, until the Sunnis displaced by the Islamic State (IS) can return to their areas, according to Mutashar al-Samarrai, a member of the parliamentary Mutahidoun bloc. The parliamentary elections have already been postponed once because of IS; they originally were scheduled for September.

“Millions of Sunnis are living in camps and are unable to participate in the elections. Meanwhile, the Sunni blocs will not be able to conduct their electoral campaigns in destroyed cities. We do not see a problem in delaying the elections," Samarrai told Al-Monitor.

“The liberated Sunni cities are suffering from a lack of services, security and transport. Insisting on holding the elections under these circumstances serves the interests of specific political parties. In this case, the Sunni blocs will fail to secure parliamentary seats, like in previous elections,” he said.

Samarrai said, “Those who are talking about the sacred constitutional timing [of elections] should be reminded of the many times this constitution has been violated. They should apply all the constitution’s articles before insisting on holding the elections under such circumstances.”

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq said in a Nov. 22 statement that even though it would like to keep to schedule, “The elections cannot be held while the situation in Iraq remains troubled and many Sunnis are displaced.”

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