Sunni tribes in northern Iraq yesterday called for parliamentary elections to be postponed until hundreds of thousands of displaced people return to areas liberated from Daesh.

 A majority of the residents of Sunni areas are still displaced after Iran, Daesh and their agents destroyed their towns,” the spokesperson for the alliance of Arab tribes in Ninevah, Sheikh, Muzahim Al-Hawyeet, said in a statement.

He called on the Iraqi government to “postpone the upcoming parliamentary elections until the situation in the liberated areas stabilizes and militias are removed from them.”

 Our message to [Haidar] Al-Abadi is that as prime minister he must be independent of the political conflict and act responsibly. We demand that he leaves the city of Mosul to its people because they will decide who will be elected on behalf of their city,” Al-Hawyeet said.

The war against Daesh has displaced up to 5.5 million people. The Iraqi government says half of them have returned to their homes, but the rest face difficulties returning because of the destruction suffered in their home towns and the lack of basic services.

Iraq is due to hold legislative and provincial council elections on 12 May. The government has previously ruled out the possibility of delaying the polls.