Despite Mounting Pressure, Grim Prospects for Election Law

Iraqi General Cites 'Plan B' as Election Doubts Grow

Iraq’s top civilian leadership will be holding a private meeting tomorrow in an attempt to rescue the election law, which has been struggling to make its way through Iraqi Parliament, and which officials are saying has “grim” prospects.

President Obama has been pressuring the Iraqi government to work out their differences on the law, but growing reluctance among the existing blocs to allow election of individual candidates instead of anonymous voting through the blocs is making it seem increasingly likely that the vote will be delayed.

Lieutenant General Ali Ghaidan Majeed, the commander of Iraq’s ground forces, joined a chorus of people warning of the consequences of such a delay, but insisted that the military has some secret “Plan B” that it will use in that eventuality.

Iraq’s vote is currently scheduled for January 16, and constitutionally it needs to be held by January 31. The official deadline for passing the election law was over a week ago, and though technically officials could reuse the law from the 2005 vote opposition from top Shi’ite clerics would likely damage the vote’s credibility.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.