Archive for Thursday, August 7, 2008

Election bill falls to ethnic rivalry

August 7, 2008


— Iraqi lawmakers failed Wednesday to agree on a provincial election law and adjourned for the month, casting doubt whether U.S.-backed balloting can be conducted this year in the country's 18 provinces.

Parliament did manage to sign off on a $21 billion supplemental budget, a move the Iraqis hope will ease U.S. congressional criticism that they aren't paying their fair share of Iraq's reconstruction at a time of economic hardship in the United States.

But the inability to approve the election bill dealt a setback to U.S. hopes for reconciliation among Iraq's rival communities despite the decline in violence.

Deputy parliamentary speaker Khalid al-Attiyah insisted the provincial elections could be held this year so long as the legislation is passed in September. But U.N. spokesman Said Arikat warned the delay would make it "difficult for us to hold the elections this year."

In the northern city of Mosul, a car bomb killed three people Wednesday and wounded 14, the U.S. military said in a sign that violence, though diminished, is far from over.


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