Iraqi President Barham Salih speaks during a news conference Image Credit: Reuters

Baghdad: Iraqi President Barham Salih on Tuesday encouraged early legislative elections to settle a political crisis that escalated into deadly clashes this week, killing dozens and wounding hundreds more.

"Holding new, early elections in accordance with a national consensus represents an exit from the stifling crisis," Salih said in a speech, arguing that such a step "guarantees political and social stability and responds to the aspirations of the Iraqi people".