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Archive for Monday, December 7, 2009

Lawmakers reach deal on parliamentary vote

December 7, 2009

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— In a last-minute compromise reached under heavy U.S. pressure, Iraqi lawmakers on Sunday approved a law on seat distribution for the upcoming parliamentary election.

The vote appeared to resolve an impasse that threatened to delay the election beyond the expiration of the current government and force the U.S. military to slow down the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Minutes before midnight, the deadline for Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi to veto the election law, lawmakers hurried into parliament and voted on the deal.

“The crisis is over,” Omar al-Mashadani, a spokesman for speaker Ayad al-Samarraie, said late Sunday.

Lawmakers have been wrangling over seat distribution for weeks.

Hashemi vetoed the original law passed Nov. 8, arguing that Iraqi refugees, most of whom are Sunni, would be disenfranchised.

Kurds also decried the law, saying non-Kurdish provinces had gotten a disproportionate number of seats in the new parliament, which will expand from the current 275 seats to 325.

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