ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi government has declared Sunday an official state holiday to provide a “comfortable atmosphere” following the country’s historic election and to ease pressure on polling station workers.
“To secure a comfortable atmosphere after the election and to facilitate the polling stations’ operations on the day of the election and the day after,” read a statement released by the Iraqi government on Saturday.
Voting stations are located in government facilities such as schools and municipal offices.
“We are committed to ensuring citizens can vote freely without any pressure, coercion, fear or extortion,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had affirmed while addressing Iraqis on Friday.
“We will not tolerate any threats to the security and safety of our citizens.”
The 2018 Iraqi Parliamentary election is the first to take place since the defeat of the Islamic State (IS), the second after the withdrawal of US forces in 2011, and the fourth since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime 15 years ago.
Editing by Nadia Riva