Iraq’s Parliament Speaker Mohammad al-Halbousi on Sunday called for setting a date for early elections amid tension over failure to form a new government.
The call came one day after Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi urged the country’s political parties to hold a new round of national dialogue on Monday to resolve Iraq’s months-long political crisis.
“Setting a date for early parliamentary elections and provincial polls by the end of next year” should be on the agenda of the national dialogue, al-Halbousi said in a statement.
He also called for “electing a new president and a government agreed upon by the people and political powers.”
Tension has been running high across Iraq in recent weeks over failure of Shia groups to agree on a new prime minister since the country’s last elections Oct. 10, 2021.
More than 30 protesters were killed on Monday when supporters of influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stormed the Republican Palace, where the government is seated in Baghdad after the firebrand leader said he was stepping down from politics.