Signs of relief shed on solving Iraq's elections law deadlock

14:06, December 05, 2009      

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A series of meetings and discussions among Iraqi leaders to reach a consensual solution over an election law indicated signs of relief on solving the deadlock.

"The meeting, in which President Jalal Talabani's views and mine over the issue of an election law were identical, was friendly and useful," Tariq al-Hashimi, Iraq's Sunni vice president told reporters on Thursday night after he met Talabani.

"I'm with any consensual choice that gives provinces their rights and provides equal electoral chances to the Iraqi citizens inside and outside the country. I'm waiting for consensual solution that doesn't wrong anyone and if the solution is not appropriate then I will veto the amendments to the election law," said Hashimi.

Asked about the objective of his veto, Hashimi confirmed that he vetoed the election law to reform it and he hoped that "the next few days will carry good signals," calling on all the concerned politicians to "reach a compromise, meet the interests of all parties and then there will be no veto but a blessing."

For his part, Talabani revealed that he and Adel Abdul Mahdi, the Shiite vice president, agreed previously with Hashimi about the existence of "reductions and gaps" in the election law and that he and his two vice presidents (Mahdi and Hashimi) were ready to write a joint letter to the parliament but they had differed on whether sending it before or after the veto.

Also on Thursday night, Talabani met Ayad al-Samarraie, Iraq's parliament speaker, who called on all the Iraqi representatives to hold an emergency session next Saturday to discuss the controversial election law.

A parliamentary source who declined to be named revealed to Xinhua that Samarraie's call for holding the impending session is to discuss an agreement reached by some concerned political blocs' leaders after they met Talabani and to avoid the veto of the law again by Hashimi.

Abdul Elah Kadhem, Hashimi's office spokesman, told reporters that, Thursday was the last day for Hashimi again to veto the latest amendments to the election law according to the Iraqi law and Hashimi was waiting for a consultation from the Iraqi federal court whether he would be granted more days due to the Eid al-Adhaholiday.

However, Samarraie told reporters after his meeting with Talabani that "negotiations among political blocs over solving elections' law crisis are still continuous and it might be today or tomorrow we will reach something in this aspect."

Rafie al-Issawi, the deputy of the Iraqi prime minister, met Fouad Ma'asoum, head of Kurdistan Alliance bloc in the parliament and discussed with him the current crisis over the election law.

In a statement issued on Thursday by Issawi's office said that Issawi and Ma'asoum emphasized the "importance of reaching a consensual form satisfies all sides and creates atmosphere of democracy granting all Iraqis rights in voting in the next elections to choose their representatives in the next parliament."

Sabah al-Sheikh, a political analyst was optimistic over finding out a solution to resolve the crisis, told Xinhua that "signals of relief over solving the impasse have begun to appear after some political leaders had reached a semi-consensus."

"Throughout Hashimi's statements we can see a glimpse of hope in the possibility of reaching an agreement about the discord points among political parties' leaders especially the latter stressed their willingness to hold the elections on its date," Sheikh said.

Although Sheikh was optimistic in solving the deadlock of the election law but he emphasized at the same time "not to go deeper with optimism because some political sides are still endeavoring to achieve gains on the cost of general welfare," he said, calling on all political parties to "prefer the country's and public interests rather than their selves-interests."

The Iraqi lawmakers approved on Nov. 8 by majority a long-awaited election law that would govern the country's national polls scheduled for January.

Ten days later, Hashimi vetoed the controversial election law, demanding more seats in the next parliament for Iraqis living abroad among whom most are Sunni Arab Muslims.

The vetoed elections law stated that 323 parliamentary seats would represent Iraqi people instead of the current 275 seats in the current parliament.

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