PM Abadi says ready to work with all parties to form strongest government

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Monday that he is ready to cooperate and work with all Iraqi parties to form a strong government.

“I am ready to work and cooperate in forming the strongest government that is free of corruption and does not subject to any foreign agendas,” Alsumaria News quoted the Iraqi premier as saying in a live televised address.

“Upon the constitution of the Republic of Iraq, we will bear the responsibility for protecting the country and defending its unity, interests and sovereignty until forming the new government,” Abadi said.

Abadi also congratulated the Iraqi people and all winning blocs in parliamentary elections and expressed “full readiness to work and cooperate to form the strongest government for Iraq.”

The Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) announced on Sunday that 44.5 percent of Iraqis cast their ballots in the first legislative elections in the country since the defeat of Islamic State last year.

“Of all 24.5 million eligible voters, just 10,8 million voted in the parliamentary polls,” Knooz Media quoted Riyadh al-Badran, the commission’s spokesperson, as saying.

Saturday’s elections are the first in Iraq since the defeat of Islamic State last year by Iraqi forces and a U.S.-led coalition.

The elections will decide the 329 members of the Council of Representatives who will in turn elect the Iraqi president and prime minister.

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