Arab Bloc Threatens Iraq Election Boycott

Tensions Rise Over New Election Law

The Arab Political Council, a group in the northern city of Kirkuk, had threatened to call for a boycott of the 2010 parliamentary elections if parliament doesn’t make revisions to the law.

The threat reflects increasing anger, particularly among Sunni Arabs, about the distribution of parliamentary seats as spelled out in the election law. Objections in the previous law led to Sunni Arab Vice President Hashemi vetoing it.

The second version of the law didn’t reflect any of Hashemi’s calls for change, but rather was a joint deal between the nation’s Shi’ite ruling faction and the Kurdish political blocs in the north, and the two are expected to attempt to override a second Hashemi veto.

If anything, the new law will likely be more objectionable to the Sunni Arab population in and around Kirkuk, because it gives more power to the Kurdish factions looking to annex the region into Kurdistan.

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.