09 November 2009

Critical Progress in Iraq

Wanted to highlight one positive thing that occurred over the weekend. Lawmakers in Iraq were able to break a long-standing stalemate and pass a law that will allow for national elections to occur sometime in Jan 2010. This is a huge step in the process to bring greater legitimacy to the Iraqi national government.

According to the NY Times (see full article here), representatives from the US and the UN were able to broker an agreement on the sensitive topic of how votes would be allocated in Kirkuk (there was disagreement between Arabs and Kurds over whether to use census data from 2004 or 2009). Once a compromise was reached on this aspect of the bill, lawmakers were able to include another key provision: the decision to use an "open list" format where Iraqis can vote for individual candidates rather than a party/bloc. This will allow for all Iraqis to feel that their vote counts and hopefully go a long way towards improving perceptions of legitimacy.

Finally, a small glimmer of hope for some semblance of enduring success in Iraq. Although the passage of this bill required some pressure from outside parties, it still shows a willingness to compromise among the various ethno-sectarian groups...


  1. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/10/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  2. Pat, check out the latest article on this issue reported in the NY Times today: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/19/world/middleeast/19iraq.html?_r=1&hp.

    The process will be delayed if the bill is vetoed, and national elections may be postponed to mid-year or further.