Iraq: Kurdish impasse over elections deepens

The Iraqi parliament Nov. 22 failed to resolve an impasse threatening to delay the country’s election—which could affect the US military’s plans for a partial pullout next year. There are only days left for parliament to address Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi’s veto of an election law, as the law must be passed 60 days before the vote, which has been scheduled for Jan. 23. The election law was approved on Nov. 8 after weeks of wrangling between Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen over how to hold the vote in the city of Kirkuk. (WP, Nov. 22)

Iraq’s Kurdish leaders are threatening to boycott the elections unless the allocation of parliamentary seats is revised in what they call a “fair manner”. Kurdistan autonomous regional president Massoud Barzani said in a statement Nov. 17 that the distribution of seats under Iraq’s recently approved electoral reform bill is unfair to Kurds. “If the seat allocation mechanism for provinces is not reconsidered, the people of the Kurdistan region will be obliged not to participate in the elections,” Fouad Hussein, a senior official from Barzani’s office told the Voices of Iraq news agency. (AKI, Nov. 17)

A car bomb exploded in a crowded market place in Kirkuk on Nov. 16, killing at least six people and wounding six others. (Reuters, Nov. 16)

See our last posts on Iraq and the Kurds.

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