The Collective
Sunday, August 3, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via Reuters: Iraq parl’t puts off divisive elections vote

Iraqi parliamentarians failed on Sunday to pass a law on provincial elections, putting the date of important polls in doubt and leaving unresolved a political standoff that has stoked ethnic tensions.

After struggling for hours to reach a quorum, lawmakers indefinitely postponed a special session they had called to pass the law, which has come unstuck over plans for the disputed northern city of Kirkuk and angered minority Kurds.

The delay may mean the elections, originally planned for October 1, could be put off until next year. Electoral officials have said they need months to plan once the law is passed.

How this develops strikes me as key in terms of how things will evolve in Iraq, as the lack of resolution of issues pertaining to local governance could easily lead to a resumption of ethnic violence. If anything, the situation is a possible flashpoint with the Kurds:

Deputies originally passed a version of the law last month, but Kurdish lawmakers boycotted that debate over its plans for Kirkuk, and President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, rejected the bill as unconstitutional.


The version of the law vetoed by Talabani would have delayed voting in Kirkuk, given fixed allocations of city council seats to Kirkuk’s three main ethnic groups and replaced Kurdish security forces there with troops from other parts of Iraq.

While I hope that I am wrong, it seems to me tht the unfinished business is Kirkuk could yet erupt into serious political conflict that could be quite violent, given the ethnic tensions in the region and the linkage to oil wealth.

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Filed under: Elections, Iraq | |


  • el
  • pt
    1. “the lack of resolution of issues pertaining to local governance could easily lead to a resumption of ethnic violence”


      It is not as if it ever stopped, though I will grant that successful ethnic cleansing in the south and Baghdad has offered some respite from the really gory stuff.

      You are right that Kirkuk is the key here. Putting it off delays the ultimate ethnic-cleansing powder keg that has yet to blow.

      Comment by MSS — Monday, August 4, 2024 @ 2:46 pm

    2. True enough–I meant a return to the previous levels of intense conflict. More to the point, a conflagration within Kirkuk itself like we saw in Baghdad.

      Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Monday, August 4, 2024 @ 2:59 pm

    3. [...] higher than Iraqi and coalition forces, but I doubt it, given his apparent clinging over time to local election law difficulties in the face of 5, count ‘em, 5 American combat casualties this past month. Now, the election [...]

      Pingback by Pros and Cons » It is official … — Thursday, August 7, 2024 @ 8:35 am

    4. [...] and be done with it (and frequently taunts me for not dong likewise). His latest post makes fun of my concern over local elections. I started to leave a comment, but decided to go full-blown [...]

      Pingback by PoliBlog (TM): A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » On “Victory” in Iraq — Saturday, August 9, 2024 @ 12:25 pm

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