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Iraqi Lawmakers Amend Election Law


Sunni Arab Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi vetoed the electoral law last week and sent it back to lawmakers for revisions

Iraq's parliament Monday approved an amended version of a law, that is required before general elections can be held, but Sunni lawmakers say the new version does not address their concerns.

Parliament is now sending the amended law back to the three-member presidency council, where it may be vetoed for a second time. Each delay threatens the likelihood that general elections will be held in January, as scheduled.

Sunni Arab Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi vetoed the electoral law last week and sent it back to lawmakers for revisions. He said he wanted more representation for Iraqis living abroad, many of whom are Sunni Arabs.

The fact that Sunni lawmakers have expressed dissatisfaction with the revised law indicates that the vice president could veto the law again.

After the last veto, Iraq's electoral commission halted preparations for the vote.

The nation's constitution calls for the general elections to be held by January 31.

Iraqis would be casting ballots to fill 323 parliamentary seats. That number is up from 275 in the current parliament, based on a formula that calls for one representative for every 100,000 Iraqis.

Some of this information provided by AP and Reuters

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