Iraq's parliament returned to work Tuesday after a month-long recess.
Lawmakers are facing a number of decisions on key issues, including a dispute over a provincial elections bill, and a security pact with the United States.
The parliament has been unable to pass a local elections law because of Kurdish objections to a power-sharing agreement for the provincial council of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.
U.S. officials consider provincial elections to be a good indicator of whether Iraqi lawmakers can take advantage of recent security gains to make political progress.
Iraqi lawmakers also are expected to discuss a security pact to decide the future of American forces in the country.
In a separate development, Jawad Hattab, the Baghdad bureau chief of the Al-Arabiya television network, escaped an apparent attack after his driver discovered a bomb attached to his car before it exploded.
Al-Arabiya reports some of its employees have been receiving threats.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.