BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Delayed elections in Iraq and a bloody attack this week will not derail U.S. troop withdrawal plans, U.S. officials said as Defense Secretary Robert Gates flew into Baghdad to meet Iraqi leaders.
Gates did not see one of his main Iraqi counterparts as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki canceled their meeting in order to defend his government’s record before parliament, two days after the bombings killed dozens of people in Baghdad.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq on Tuesday set a long awaited date for a general election next year, but later pushed it back by one day to March 7, amid political wrangling typical of the squabbles which have already delayed the vote.
Naseer al-Ani, President Jalal Talabani’s chief of staff, told Reuters the presidency council had picked the new date late on Tuesday, after an earlier date of March 6.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi politicians agreed a last-minute deal on Sunday to overcome divisions on a law needed for an election to take place next year, reducing the risks to U.S. plans for a partial withdrawal in 2010.
With 10 minutes till a midnight deadline for one of Iraq’s vice presidents to cast a second veto of the law, deputies, badgered by U.S. and U.N. officials, voted unanimously to approve a compromise on the distribution of parliamentary seats.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi said on Thursday he had postponed until Sunday a decision on whether to sign or veto an election law required for next year’s critical poll, after a court gave him more time.
Hashemi, a Sunni Arab, is expected to veto the law for a second time due to a dispute with Shi’ite and Kurdish lawmakers over the allocation of parliamentary seats among Iraq’s ethnic and religious groups.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A preliminary agreement has been reached over Iraq’s election law which the country’s Sunni Arab vice president is now less likely to veto for a second time, his office said on Thursday.
The deal reached between Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, political parties, the Shi’ite-led government and electoral authorities does not mean the vote is any more likely to take place before the constitutional deadline of end-January.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Lawsuits, rules that allow the government to shut TV stations that promote violence and other signs of creeping censorship are raising fears of a crackdown on Iraq’s often partisan media ahead of an election next year.
Lawsuits have been filed or threatened against both foreign and local media outlets critical of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Shi’ite Muslim-led government, which will seek re-election in national polls due in early 2010.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – U.S. and U.N. officials have proposed solutions to Iraq’s Sunni Arab vice president to stop him vetoing for a second time a law needed for an election to take place next year, an official said on Wednesday.
Seen as a milestone for Iraq’s fledgling democracy as it emerges from sectarian war set off by the 2003 U.S. invasion, the vote is likely to be delayed past its due date in January, possibly affecting U.S. plans for a partial pullout next year.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq will be unable to hold a national election in January as planned, a poll official said on Tuesday, heaping more uncertainty on a vote meant to cement democracy and pave the way for a partial U.S. troop withdrawal.
The general election was supposed to be held between January 18-23, but Iraq’s Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a Sunni Muslim, last week vetoed a law needed to hold the polls on grounds that Iraqis abroad were under-represented.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s parliament on Monday approved an amended law needed to hold an election next year, but the new text risks being vetoed a second time — which could delay both the vote and next year’s partial U.S. troop withdrawal.
The bill now returns to the three-person presidential council where, lawmakers said, Sunni Arab Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi is likely veto it again as it still fails to address his demand to give more of a say to Iraqis living abroad.
BAGHDAD/DUBAI (Reuters) – Iraq’s parliament passed an investment law on Monday that would allow foreigners to own land for housing projects, and is designed to streamline regulations and applications for foreign investment, lawmakers said.
Iraq hoped for a tide of foreign investment as the sectarian bloodshed triggered by the 2003 U.S. invasion subsided in the last two years, but bureaucracy, red tape and outdated land ownership laws have deterred investors.