The Iraqi government has already missed the ostensible deadline for passing a new election law by more than a week, but with a delay in the January vote looking increasingly probably President Obama insists that the troop pullout remains on track.
“We have seen in the last several months a consolidation of a commitment to democratic politics inside of Iraq,” Obama insisted, though he and Vice President Biden reportedly put heavy pressure on visiting Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to get the Iraq election law changes done.
A growing number of Shi’ite clerics are demanding that Iraq revise its election law to allow the direct election of candidates, instead of merely voting for anonymous lists as was done in 2005. Most every bloc in parliament appears to favor this, but are all seeking their own versions of the bill which they see as favorable to their factions.
The US still isn’t planning any major pullouts until after it sees how the election goes, and President Obama’s comments aside it seems clear that a delay in the vote would also delay the pullout timetable.