Ayatollah Sistani demands early elections to end crisis in Iraq

Iraq’s prominent Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has called for early elections in order to put an end to a months-long political paralysis in the country, saying that a new government should be formed soon.

“The fastest and most peaceful way out of the current crisis, and avoiding the unknown or chaos or civil strife, is to go back to the people by holding an early election after legislating a fair electoral law,” Ayatollah Sistani said in a statement read out by his representative Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalaei during a sermon in the holy city of Karbala on Friday.

“We hope that the formation of a new government is not delayed for too long. It should not be an argumentative government and must respond to the challenges of this current phase and be able to restore the prestige of this state and to placate the unrest.”

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