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Trump administration calls for early elections in Iraq to stop violence

Trump administration calls for early elections in Iraq to stop violence
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The Trump administration is calling for Iraq to hold early elections in a push aimed at stopping Baghdad's violent crackdown on anti-government protesters. 

“Despite being targeted with lethal violence and denied access to the Internet, the Iraqi people have made their voices heard, calling for elections and election reforms,” White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamTrumps to spend Thanksgiving at White House instead of traveling to Florida Melania Trump cancels campaign appearance over 'lingering cough' The Memo: Trump grapples with credibility gap in crisis MORE said in a statement late Sunday. 

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“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,” she added. 

The administration also called on other countries to join in support of a “better future for the Iraqi people.” 

The push comes after more than 250 anti-government protesters in Iraq were reportedly killed Saturday

Protests began on Oct. 1 over a lack of jobs and services, Reuters noted, adding that the demonstrations then shifted to broader rebukes of the sectarian power-sharing system that was introduced in 2003 and the political elites who protesters say benefit from it.