Iraqi Parliament Approves Provincial Elections Law

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s parliament has unanimously approved a provincial elections law after weeks of deadlock.

The lawmakers voted Wednesday in favor of the measure after overcoming an impasse due to objections over power-sharing issues in the province that includes the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

Kurdish, Shiite, Sunni and Turkomen legislators agreed to form a parliamentary committee to review disputes regarding Kirkuk and present a report by March 2009.

Legislators also acknowledged that delays in passing the measure could make it difficult for the electoral commission to organize the elections this year.

They voted to push back the deadline for holding the vote until Jan. 31, 2009, to provide extra time but said they hoped it wouldn’t be needed.