Iraqi parliament approves provincial elections law

September 25, 2008 05:40

Under intense US pressure, Iraq's parliament has approved a law paving the way for the first provincial elections in four years, following months of deadlock that American commanders warned could jeopardize security gains. The breakthrough came Wednesday after lawmakers decided to postpone a decision on how to resolve a power-sharing dispute over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk that has stoked ethnic tensions and stalled approval of the election bill. The ballot, which must be held by Jan. 31 according to the new legislation, comes as the US military has cautioned that a relative calm could prove fragile.

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