Iraq

Iraq set to hold parliamentary poll on April 30

Iraq will hold a general election on April 30 after lawmakers agreed on polling regulations Monday, setting a marker that officials hope could end political deadlock fuelling a surge in violence.
Lawmakers ended a weeks-long wrangle over an electoral law, which sets out key aspects of the poll such as the voting

system and constituency size, by finally passing legislation on Monday evening.
Parliament passed the law after a session lasting several hours, state TV reported.
The vice president announced that the election would be held on April 30.
“His excellency Vice President Khudayr al-Khuzaie… issued a presidential decree specifying April 30, 2014 as the date for holding parliamentary elections,” a statement posted on Khuzaie’s official website said.
Khuzaie is standing in for President Jalal Talabani, who has been in Germany for nearly a year receiving treatment for a stroke.
The parliamentary election would be the first national poll since March 2010, and comes amid prolonged political deadlock, long-standing disputes within the national unity government and a months-long spike in violence.
Analysts and diplomats have said the election could help to loosen the stalemate, which is seen as contributing to the poor security environment.
Violence is at its worst since 2008.

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