Iraqi PM says new lawmakers must 'restore' peoples' confidence in democracy

"Today, we fulfill our pledge before our people to hold early, fair elections."
author_image Kurdistan 24
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (Right). (Photo: Kadhimi's Media Office)
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (Right). (Photo: Kadhimi's Media Office)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The prime minister of Iraq's caretaker government, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, on Saturday called on newly-elected lawmakers to "restore the confidence" of Iraqis in democracy.

Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) announced preliminary results of the Oct. 10 election late Saturday.

Participants in the vote have close to three weeks to lodge complaints about the vote, after which the commission would approve the count, awaiting the Federal Supreme Court's ratification.

Once the country's top court certifies the election outcome, lawmakers are to hold their first session within 15 days, chaired by the eldest member, elect a speaker and two deputies.

The legislature then votes in a new president, who would, in turn, charge the nominee of the body's largest bloc for prime minister-designate to form a cabinet that would face a confidence vote in parliament, as outlined in Article 76 of the Constitution.

"Today, we fulfill our pledge before our people to hold early, fair elections," Kadhimi said in a speech during a ceremony for the birthday of the Islamic prophet Mohammed.

"The new lawmakers have moral and patriotic duties towards their people," he added, and must "restore the confidence of the people in political action and... democracy."

Kadhimi took office in May 2020 to replace Adil Abdul Mahdi, who was ousted amid widespread protests in late 2019 that turned deadly as members of the security forces, mostly Iranian-aligned militias, responded with brutal violence.

The sitting premier, for whom it is unclear if there will be a second term, highlighted the Baghdad government's "financial, economic, and health" challenges as he took office.

"We have overcome them," he claimed, although the COVID-19 pandemic still poses a serious threat to communities across Iraq as crippling economic conditions, worsened by chronically corrupt institutions, continue.