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Iraq presidential council sends provincial elections measure back to parliament for reworking

Iraq presidential council sends provincial elections measure back to parliament for reworking

Iraq's presidential council rejected a measure Wednesday setting up provincial elections, sending it back to parliament in the latest setback to U.S.-backed national reconciliation efforts.
The three-member panel, however, approved the 2008 budget and another law that provides limited amnesty to detainees in Iraqi custody. Those laws will take effect once they are published in the Justice Ministry gazette.
The three laws were approved as a package by the Iraqi parliament on Feb. 13, drawing praise from the Bush administration, which had sought passage of a provincial powers law as one of 18 benchmarks to promote reconciliation among Iraq's Sunni and Shiite Arab communities and the large Kurdish minority.
"No agreement has been reached in the Presidency Council to approve the provincial elections draft law and that it has been sent back to the parliament to reconsider the rejected articles," the presidential council said in a statement.
The panel is composed of President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, Shiite Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi.
Abdul-Mahdi, a senior official in the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, the country's largest Shiite party, apparently objected to the measure and was supported by the Kurds.
The sticking point was control of the provincial governor's offices. A provision in the measure allows the Iraqi prime minister to fire a provincial governor, but Abdul-Mahdi's bloc wants that power to rest with the provincial councils, or legislatures, where his party has a strong base of support around the country.


Updated : 2021-04-15 18:13 GMT+08:00