Despite claims yesterday that a tentative deal had been reached, Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi issued a statement today warning the legal battle over the election law was far from over and that it was too early to talk about approving it.
The battle over the nation’s election law and in particular the way the seats in parliament will be distributed along ethnic and religious lines has been going on for months, but has had increasing urgency recently as the January 15 date initially set nears.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has recently been lashing out at Hashemi for delaying his approval, saying that his position was a threat to the nation’s security, economy and constiution.
Nevertheless, Hashemi has a well-established veto power and which President Talabani and Vice President Abdulmahdi have approved it the law cannot be put into action until Hashemi either signs off or his veto is overriden. In either case the election is certain to be delayed into mid-February, at the earliest.