Iraq passes provincial election law

Local elections look set to go ahead after MPs make concessions over city of Kirkuk.

    An earlier draft of the election law sparked protests from Kurds in the city of Kirkuk [File: EPA]

    He said there would be a separate law for dealing with elections in Kirkuk as well as a power sharing formula for the city's administration.

    Kurdish politicans had objected to a power-sharing arrangement for the oil-rich area, which they want to incorporate into their autonomous region in the north.

    On Wednesday, Kurdish, Shia, Sunni and Turkomen politicians agreed to form a parliamentary committee to review disputes regarding Kirkuk and report to the
    house by March 2009.

    Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, the parliamentary speaker, and the electoral commission had been urging a speedy resolution of the impasse over the elections law to enable a vote to take place before the end of the year.

    The polls were scheduled to take place on October 1, but on Wednesday they set a deadline of January 1, 2009 for the vote.

    Washinton had been pushing Iraq to reach a compromise so that the local elections, which it believes will help reconcile rival ethnic groups, be held.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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