Iraqi parliament fails to agree on elections law
The Iraqi lawmakers failed Wednesday to overcome differences over the proposed bill for national elections due in next January, parliament's speaker said, Xinhua reported.
Ayad al-Samarrai told reporters that his parliament's presidency referred the controversial issue of the elections law to a higher political council comprises of the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the heads of the political parliamentary blocs, in addition to Samarrai himself.
"The presidency of the Council of Representatives (Parliament) has decided to refer the issue of the elections law to the Political Council for National Security," Samarrai said, adding that the lawmakers had failed to agree on the disputed issues, particularly, the issue of the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.
He said it was unfortunate that some political blocs changed their political stances they adopted previously, confirming that the current stalemate does not serve the political process in the country.
Samarrai also said that today's parliament session has been decided to be postponed to Sunday.
Observers here see that the stumbling block to approve the proposed amendments on the electoral law is mainly differences among the parliamentary blocs over the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk and whether the voting system would be carried out by closed list or open list.
Kirkuk's issue is one of the most complicated issues which face the Iraqi politicians, as the oil-rich province is disputed among Arab, Turkmen and Kurdish communities.
The Kurds demand to incorporate Kirkuk in their autonomous region, while the Arabs and Turkmen communities are opposing the Kurdish ambitions and insisted either to stay under Baghdad control or to be a separate federal region.