Iraqi President To Reject Election Law

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s president says he’ll reject a draft law that would pave the way for provincial elections, saying the measure would only worsen sectarian rifts among Iraqis.

President Jalal Talabani and his two deputies need to ratify the law before it can take effect. A decision to send it back to parliament would likely delay the elections, which are supposed to be held by October 1st.

Talabani said he couldn’t approve a law passed by only 127 members of Iraq’s 275-strong parliament. The law was approved Tuesday despite a Kurdish protest and walkout.

The law’s rejection by Talabani — a Kurd — had been expected. The elections are seen by U.S. officials as a key step toward repairing Iraq’s sectarian divisions.