In early November, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq welcomed the decision by Baghdad to have provincial council elections next April.
Reidar Visser, a noted Iraq expert, writes on his supplement to the historiae.org site that Iraqi authorities have registered what appears to be a final list of political entities cleared to take part in the April contest.
Included in the list are various "sub-entities" of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya slate, which challenged Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his State of Law party during the last election cycle in 2009.
State of Law may seek to shore up more Shiite support while a movement loyal to influential cleric Moqtada Sadr remains a dominate force in the Iraqi political landscape.
Various vetting and administrative issues, however, suggests the list "is not a definitive indication of how the political landscape for the next local elections in Iraq is shaping up," writes Visser.
A series of skirmishes between Iraqi and Kurdish forces recently have raised concerns about the stability in post-war Iraq. On Wednesday, U.N. special envoy for Iraq Martin Kobler expressed his dismay over a series of attacks that left 19 dead in mostly Shiite areas of Baghdad.