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U.S. calls on Iraq to hold early elections

BAGHDAD: The United States has called on Iraq’s government to stop using violence against protesters, reform its electoral system and hold early elections, after weeks of unrest in which security forces have killed nearly 300 protesters.

The protests that began on Oct. 1 were initially focused on a lack of jobs and services but quickly morphed into denunciation of the sectarian power-sharing system of government introduced in 2003 and the political elites they say benefit from it.

“The United States joins the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq in calling on the Iraqi government to halt the violence against protesters and fulfill President Salih’s promise to pass electoral reform and hold early elections,” the White House press secretary said in a statement posted by the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Monday.

 

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