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Iraqi president vetoes elections bill

President of Iraq Jalal Talabani speaks to the media after a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on June 25, 2008. A roadside bombing killed three U.S. soldiers yesterday in northern Iraq, bringing the number of American troop deaths this week in the country to seven. (UPI Photo/Shawn Thew/POOL)
1 of 2 | President of Iraq Jalal Talabani speaks to the media after a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on June 25, 2008. A roadside bombing killed three U.S. soldiers yesterday in northern Iraq, bringing the number of American troop deaths this week in the country to seven. (UPI Photo/Shawn Thew/POOL) | License Photo

BAGHDAD, July 24 (UPI) -- Iraqi lawmakers must revise a measure on provincial elections after Iraqi President Jalal Talabani vetoed an elections bill.

Talabani delivered on his threat to veto the measure Wednesday; meanwhile, the country's political leaders continued to draft a measure that would allow elections to be held this year as planned, The New York Times reported.

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Kurdish lawmakers boycotted Tuesday's parliamentary vote on the legislation on provincial elections, seen as critical to political progress in Iraq. At issue is the status of Kirkuk, an oil-rich city in northern Iraq the Kurds consider part of their semi-autonomous domain.

Talabani, a Kurd, and at least one vice president vetoed the legislation, Mahmoud Othman, an independent Kurdish member of parliament, told the Times.

Lawmakers told the Times they were being pressured to reach a compromise but that they expect the country's leaders would reach an agreement before the summer recess begins Aug. 1. Massoud Barzini, the leader of the Kurdish region, said he would travel to Baghdad to help broker a deal.

"Everyone wants to solve this crisis as soon as possible," said Mohammed Amin, a Sunni Arab lawmaker and a member of the committee that drafted the legislation.

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