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Iraqi parliament postpones vote on election date


Iraq’s parliament failed on Saturday to approve May 12 as the election date.  Shafaq News reported that parliament speaker Salim al-Jubouri, a Sunni, ordered a secret poll among representatives over holding the legislative elections on time while postponing local elections. The Iraqi parliament approached the country’s top court to settle a political dispute over the holding of legislative elections as the chamber fails to reach a consensus over the schedule of polls. Both processes were already slated for May 12th by the Cabinet, but divisions grew as Sunni blocs favored a postponement to give time to displaced voters to return to their home regions after the end of military operations against Islamic State militants. News websites also quoted officials at the parliament’s presidency saying that a letter directed to the Federal Court asked judges to pronounce on the legality of postponing the polls. On the contrary, Shiite politicians, including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, insist on holding the election as planned on May 12, saying a delay would be against the constitution. On Thursday, the Iraqi parliament called off to Saturday one more session to debate on the elections’ timetable and regulations.

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