Iraq elections commission: security, PMF personnel entitled to vote

Pro-Iraqi government paramilitary forces, al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units)

Baghdad ( Iraqi security and Popular Mobilization Forces personnel are entitled to vote in the upcoming elections slated for May, according to the country’s elections commission.

The Independent High Elections Commission’s spokesman, Karim al-Tamimi, said in a statement that “the constitution and active laws have given security forces and al-Hashd al-Shaabi (PMF) the right to vote in the elections”.

Iraq has slated parliamentary and municipal elections for May 12th, becoming the first to be held after the elimination of Islamic State militants from the country.

Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reiterated that “no armed faction has the right to partake in the elections”. His assertions come at odds with occasional statements by PMF commanders who insist that a number of factions would even run in the elections.

Popular Mobilization Forces, an alliance of volunteer Shia paramilitary forces, have actively backed the Iraqi government’s military campaign against IS since 2014, when they were formed upon a top Shia clergy edict to counter the Sunni Jihadist group.

PMF won official recognition as a national force late 2016, becoming under the command of the prime minister, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces.


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