November 24, 2009 - 02:03:31
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Tuesday praised the Parliament’s approval of the election law, according to al-Iraqia satellite channel.
“The president called on Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi to understand this approval and its reasons and to exert efforts to face those who aim at foiling the democratic political process,” the channel added.
The Iraqi Parliament had passed an amended version of the new election law, which was vetoed by one of the country’s two vice-presidents last week.
Tareq al-Hashemi wanted more seats given to the four million displaced Iraqis who he said had fled abroad since 2003.
The law will return to the presidential council, where lawmakers close to Hashemi said he might veto it again, potentially delaying by a month the election due in January and threatening U.S. plans for a troop drawdown next year.
The law must be approved soon to allow parliamentary polls in January.
The amended election law includes new clauses that give Iraqis inside and outside the country equal status as voters and say the votes of refugees and exiles would be counted in their home provinces.
It also stipulates that the voter rolls will be based on food ration data from 2005, when the last election was held, increased by 2.8 percent per year since then to match estimated population growth.