Despite claims earlier in the day that Vice President Hashemi had reached a tentative deal with the Maliki government on the election law, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued an angry rebuke to Hashemi, saying his stance was threatening the nation’s security.
“The use of the veto by Mr. al-Hashemi, and persisting with it, will put the country, in terms of security, the economy and the constitution, at grave risk,” Maliki insisted. Hashemi vetoed the previous version of the law and before today’s announcement was expected to veto the current version as well.
Maliki also claimed that the delay of the election, which is seen as a virtually foregone conclusion at this point, would have no affect on the US military’s timetable for pullout, saying attempts to link the two were “meaningless.”
Yet US officials have repeatedly linked the two, saying that the drawdown would not begin in earnest until 60 days after a successful election. The election was initially scheduled for January 15, but is now expected to take place no sooner than mid-February.