June 14, 2018 / 3:00 PM / 4 months ago

Iraqi PM invites politicians to meet after Eid holiday

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday invited Iraq’s political groups to meet after the Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday and agree on how to move forward in establishing a new parliament and government.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tokyo, Japan, April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

May’s parliamentary election was marred by low turnout and allegations of fraud, stalling talks on forming a new government. Parliament mandated a nationwide manual recount of votes and some politicians called for it to be repeated.

“Despite the violations and irregularities that tainted the election, following legal methods, obeying the law and the constitution, is the only way to solve these problems and move towards forming a new parliament and a government,” he said in a pre-recorded address.

Abadi, who opposes a repeat of the election, said he was sure Iraq would come out of this “crisis stronger, united, and stable” and called for unity.

“I invite the political blocs to a high level meeting immediately after the Eid holiday ... so we can put our hands together in order to protect the nation, citizens, and to guarantee the safety of the political process and democratic gains as well as to agree on specific measures to speed up the formation of constitutional institutions.”

Eid al-Fitr follows the fasting month of Ramadan. The government announced the holiday would end on Tuesday.

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Ulf Laessing and Alison Williams

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