August 6, 2008

No Action Taken on Iraqi Election Law

Iraqi lawmakers Wednesday delayed for the third time a vote on the provincial election law after failing to agree on governance in Kirkuk.

Consideration of the provincial election was delayed until the next legislative quarter after lawmakers were unable to reach consensus on elections in oil-rich and ethnically diverse Kirkuk, sources told al-Sumaria Iraqi satellite television network.

Because Iraqi lawmakers failed to reach agreement on the measure before adjourning for a month-long summer recess, the fate of provincial elections in doubt for this year, The New York Times reported.

Kirkuk's status is one of the most difficult matters confronting Iraq's government since sectarian violence has declined, USA Today reported Wednesday. The elections would determine how power will be divided between Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen in the oil-rich northern province.

Fouad Massoum, a Kurdish politician, announced the formation of a committee that would have discussions with representatives from the United Nations, also involved in trying to find a solution. Massoum said a special session of Parliament sometime during the recess, which ends Sept. 9, was possible.