Iraq's parliament is due to hold a special session Sunday to try to resolve political disputes delaying the passage of a provincial elections law.
Parliamentary speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani says a special session is needed to debate the measure because the assembly went into summer recess Wednesday.
Iraq's government had hoped to hold provincial elections in October, but disagreements between Iraqi factions about electoral guidelines mean the vote may be delayed until next year.
Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers have rejected proposals to share provincial council seats in Kirkuk equally among the region's ethnic groups. Iraqi Kurds and their allies currently hold the majority in Kirkuk's assembly.
Hundreds of Iraqi Kurds protested in the northern city of Sulaimaniya Wednesday against the proposal for power-sharing in Kirkuk. A similar protest in the city of Irbil on Tuesday drew thousands of people.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.