BAGHDAD, Jan. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said Wednesday that the country's elections would be held as scheduled on Jan. 30.
"The government is committed to running the elections on schedule," Allawi told reporters.
|Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi speaks to journalists in Baghdad. Allawi said Wednesday that the country's elections would be held as scheduled on Jan. 30.(AFP)|
Allawi insisted that holding elections on time was an essential effort to rein in relentless violence across the country and push the country forward on the path toward democracy.
He called on all Iraqis to cast their ballots on Jan. 30 to defy those insurgents bent on undermining the political process in the country.
Allawi also urged those parties which said would boycott the elections to participate, otherwise their withdrawal from the vote would play into the hands of insurgents.
Citing security concerns, some Sunni political and religious parties said they decided to shun the elections and others called for a delay of at least six months until the situation improved.
Allawi's remarks came amid a new wave of violence gripped the country. At least 20 people were killed Wednesday in a car bomb attack outside a police academy south of Baghdad during a graduation ceremony, police said.
The blast took place at the main gate of the academy in Hilla, some 100 km south of Baghdad.
To unseat the Jan. 30 parliamentary elections, insurgents have escalated their attacks against Iraqi officials, US troops and Iraqi security guards to destabilize the situation in the war-ravaged country. Enditem