Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Wednesday rejected a provincial election bill a day after it was adopted in parliament, making it all but certain that polls due in October will be delayed. "The president does not accept a law like this, a law that 127 deputies voted on and which does not represent even half of the parliament," a statement from Talabani's office said.
Iraq's 275-member parliament adopted the law in a vote on Tuesday that was boycotted by Kurdish lawmakers and some Shiite ministers and would have allowed voting to go ahead in the country's 18 provinces later this year. "The president has the confidence that the Presidency Council will also not pass this law," Talabani's office said, according to AFP.
The three-member Presidency Council, which includes Talabani, a Kurd, Shiite Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi and Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, has the power to veto legislation and is set to reject the elections law.
"At minimum, the election will not be held on the first of October," Saleem Abdullah, spokesman for main Sunni bloc, the National Concord Front, told AFP, adding that he now expected it to be held in January.