Iraq VP’s Veto Sparks Potential Constitutional Crisis

Parliament Speaker: Rumors of Court Overturning Veto False

Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi claimed to be astonished by the commotion surrounding his veto of the nation’s election law yesterday, and his office says this is far from the first time he has used the power.

Hashemi vetoed the bill after parliament refused to address his complaints that the two million plus Iraqi refugees who have yet to return to the country have no legal representation under the current law.

The veto by the top ranking Sunni politician halted all preparations for the January election, which will almost certainly face a massive delay now, but members of the ruling Shi’ite faction in parliament claim that the courts had ruled the veto “unconstitutional.”

The parliament speaker however says that the claims are simply untrue, and that parliament will have a new vote on Saturday in an effort to sort out the election law.

The dispute has set up an apparent constitutiuonal crisis in Iraq, as although the vice president legally has veto power as a member of the presidential council, the veto imperils the constitutional requirement for holding an election by the end of January.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.