Iraq passes elec­tion law

The Kurds and other Iraqi blocs have fi­nally passed the con­tro­ver­sial elec­tion law. The Kurds are happy this time due to all the prov­inces en­joys equal rights in the leg­isla­tive polls.

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

A man casts his vote dur­ing the Iraq’s pro­vin­cial coun­cil elec­tions in a polling sta­tion in Er­bil, cap­i­tal of the fed­eral Kur­dis­tan Re­gion of Iraq.

Fol­low­ing weeks of in­ten­sive de­bates, the Iraqi law­mak­ers passed the elec­tion law on Mon­day, Novem­ber 4, 2013. The fears of not hold­ing the leg­isla­tive elec­tions fi­nally al­layed due to the pas­sage of the leg­is­la­tion.

Vice Pres­i­dent Kud­hair al-Khuzaie is­sued a pres­i­den­tial de­cree on Novem­ber 4, set­ting April 30 as the date for the up­com­ing Iraqi leg­isla­tive elec­tion.

The pas­sage of the law was the re­sult of many weeks of ne­go­ti­a­tion and com­pro­mise by all of Iraq's ma­jor po­lit­i­cal blocs, said the state­ment re­leased by the Of­fice of the Vice Pres­i­dent.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts be­lieve that the up­com­ing par­lia­men­tary polls are con­sid­ered as a very crit­i­cal test for Iraq; the worlds’ num­ber four oil ex­porter last year ac­cord­ing to OPEC. It has suf­fered from ter­ror­ist at­tacks and po­lit­i­cal dead­lock since the U.S. forces with­draw from Iraq at the end of 2011.

Par­lia­ment speaker Usama al-Nu­jaifi told the news agen­cies that: "The new law was pro­duced by con­sen­sus, which makes it fair for all.”

“We don't have any prob­lem with this new law, and all prov­inces have en­joyed equal rights," al-Nu­jaifi said.

Vot­ing on the law had been re­peat­edly de­layed due to dis­pute be­tween Arabs and the Kurds, who run their own re­gion.

U.S. Pres­i­dent Barak Obama asked Pre­mier Nouri al-Ma­liki dur­ing a visit to Wash­ing­ton a few weeks ago to pass the leg­is­la­tion and hold free and fair polls next year.

The United States wel­comed the pas­sage of leg­is­la­tion by the Coun­cil of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives (COR) to gov­ern Iraq's polls, Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den said on Mon­day night.

Bi­den stated that the pas­sage of leg­is­la­tion shows Iraq's lead­ers are com­mit­ted to com­pro­mise and progress.

"I ap­plaud the lead­er­ship of Prime Min­is­ter Ma­liki, Iraqi Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani and COR Speaker Nu­jaifi in achiev­ing this re­sult," Bi­den stated.

"Up­com­ing elec­tions give the Iraqi peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to choose the di­rec­tion of their coun­try, and the com­pro­mises reached to­day demon­strate the strength of Iraq's demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions, even in the face of ter­ror­ism that seeks to heighten sec­tar­ian ten­sion and pro­voke broader con­flict."

The United States re­mains com­mit­ted to en­hanc­ing bi­lat­eral re­la­tions across all ar­eas cov­ered by the Strate­gic Frame­work Agree­ment, in­clud­ing ef­forts to "sup­port and strengthen Iraq's democ­racy and its demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions as de­fined and es­tab­lished in the Iraqi Con­sti­tu­tion," Bi­den said.

"Iraq to­day re­minded the world that its lead­ers are de­ter­mined to find ar­eas of com­pro­mise and move their coun­try for­ward," he said.

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