A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Iraqi Electoral Mess

The Vice Presidential veto of the Iraqi electoral law (or at least of parts of it) seems to have created a constitutional mess that may complicate holdine elections in January and thus the US drawdown that has been pegged to the elections. After careful thought I've concluded that I'm not well-enough informed on the issue to comment, but would refer you to Reidar Vissar's useful and detailed posts here and here, Juan Cole here, and an interview by Al-Jazeera English with Tariq al-Hashemi, the Vice President who cast the veto:

I gather there's an effort to hold a new vote on Saturday. I'm sure the US Embassy and General Odierno are paying very close attention. I think the key element to keep in mind (as a non-Iraq specialist) is that Hashemi is a Sunni (the three-man Presidential council consists of a Kurd, a Sunni and a Shi‘ite), and the dispute here is over the voting representation given to Iraqis abroad: the majority of whom are Sunnis.

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