Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has rejected a controversial provincial
elections law, a day after parliament passed it amid Kurdish protests.
president's office Wednesday said Mr. Talabani, a Kurd, could not
accept a law that was approved by less than half the members of Iraq's
275-member parliament. His office also said he is confident the
Presidency Council, comprised of the Kurdish president, Shi'ite Vice
President Adel Abdel Mahdi and Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi,
will not pass the law as well.
The Iraqi parliament passed the
provincial elections law Tuesday - despite a walkout by Kurdish
lawmakers over how elections will be held in the disputed oil-rich city
The Kurdish members of parliament want a referendum
to determine who controls the multi-ethnic city. They objected to the
law's power-sharing agreement for the city's Arab, Turkmen and Kurdish
Disagreement over the issue could lead to a delay in provincial elections scheduled for October.
The United States today urged the Iraqi government to hold elections by the end of the year.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said local elections would help to further reconcile Iraq's different ethnic groups.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.