Iraqi electoral commission warns parliament of national elections delay
The Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission warned that Thursday (November 5) will be the last day for the lawmakers to agree on an election law, otherwise the country's national elections will have to be delayed, Xinhua reported.
Qassim al-Abboudi, head of the commission's legal office, told reporters on Wednesday that his commission informed the parliament speaker that "tomorrow (Thursday) is the deadline for the parliament lawmakers to approve a new elections law, because delaying the law more than that may hamper the preparations for the January 16 elections and then it would be impossible to carry out the elections."
Iraqi lawmakers have been struggling over a compromise on the election law needed to carry out the vote, particularly, over the stumbling block of the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, which claimed by the Kurds and both Arabs and Turkmen.
Arabs and Turkmen favor a plan that the electoral law should use the 2004 voter registry as they accuse the Kurds carrying out demographic change in the oil-rich province after 2003, while the Kurds refuse the plan accusing Saddam Hussein's regime of displacing thousands of Kurds who were replaced with Arabs to make Kirkuk a predominantly Arab province.
Iraqi and U.S. authorities fear that the deadlock over Kirkuk is likely to delay the national elections and hamper the political process in the war-torn country.