Iraqi VP blames parliament blocs for hampering elections law vote

Other News Materials 12 August 2008 23:45 (UTC +04:00)

Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi Tuesday regretted not reaching an agreement on the provincial elections law and criticized parliamentary blocs for hampering the vote on the law.

"Parliamentary blocs should show some flexibility and try to compromise to reach an agreement," al-Hashemi told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency, the dpa reported.

Last Wednesday, Iraqi lawmakers failed to agree on the adoption of a controversial new provincial election law affecting the oil-rich, multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk. The bill calls for a secret ballot to decide on a power-sharing arrangement in the city.

Meanwhile, a secular lawmaker expected the country's Kurds would make concessions to allow the controversial provincial elections bill to be re-approved by parliament.

"I expect that the Kurds would make some concessions regarding article 24 of the provincial elections law due to international and popular pressure," Usama al-Nujaifi from the Secular Iraqi National List (INL) told VOI.

Al-Nujaifi pointed out that "parliamentary blocs need more time to come to a consensus with other blocs."

In other news, al-Hashemi said he hoped Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki and Jordan's King Abdullah would resolve pending issues between the two countries that "started to affect deep-rooted bilateral relations in a negative way."

Abdullah arrived in Baghdad on Monday afternoon on a surprise visit, during which he met with al-Maliki. The visit was the first for an Arab leader to Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003.