Iraqi President Signs Election Law, VP Veto Expected

January Election 'Impossible'

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Shi’ite Vice President Adel Abdulmahdi signed the latest draft election law today, leaving only the widely expected veto from Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi in the way of its formal passage.

But even if they manage to avert or override a Hashemi veto, the Iraqi election commission says that a January election will be impossible, as the constitution requires the law be passed 60 days before the vote, and late January holidays would prevent the vote then.

The second election law, a compromise between the nation’s Shi’ite ruling faction and the Kurdish political blocs, has been roundly condemned by the nation’s Sunni Arabs, and some are even threatening a boycott of the election.

Iraq’s election process is hardly straightforward, with various religious and ethnic groups receiving set-aside proportions of representation in parliament. It is the proportions in question that are in dispute, as many Sunnis object to the lack of formal representation for the nation’s millions of (mostly Sunni) overseas refugees.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.