Iraqi parliament approves election law

Monday, December 7, 2009

Iraqi lawmakers passed a law on Sunday needed to conduct parliamentary elections early next year, in a nearly unanimous vote. The new law expands parliament from the current 275 seats to 325 seats.

The bill took shape during several months of intense debate over how much parliamentary representation should be given to Iraq's minority groups.

"The seats of the new Parliament will be 310 seats plus fifteen seats for the minorities, making a total of 325," said the deputy parliament speaker.

Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi said the law resolves his objections. He had earlier demanded revisions to give his Sunni minority group a greater political voice, and vetoed an earlier version of the law that did not meet this condition.