U.S. voices disappointment at Iraq's election law veto

10:00, November 19, 2009      

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The United States said Wednesday that it was disappointed at the veto by Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi on an election law, urging Iraqi leaders and parliament to take "quick action" to ensure the election can be held in January.

Early on Wednesday, Hashimi vetoed part of the controversial election law, demanding for more seats in the next parliament for Iraqis living abroad, of whom most are Sunni Arabs.

The veto threatened to a new possible delay to Iraq's elections, which would take place by the end of January.

"We are disappointed at these developments related to elections law. We urge Iraqi leaders and parliament to take quick action to any outstanding concerns that have been expressed and this is so elections can go forward," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters.

"It is the responsibility of all Iraqi parties to ensure that the Iraqi people are able to exercise their democratic right to vote," said Kelly, adding that the election law represents "the best way forward for the Iraqi government to be able to consolidate the democratic and political achievements."

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki criticized Hashimi's move as "a serious threat to the political process," calling on the Iraqi parliament and the country's Independent High Electoral Commission to carry on their preparations to ensure holding the national elections without delay.

Source: Xinhua
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