Iraq's vice president said Thursday he is open to talks to break a deadlock on holding parliament elections scheduled for next month, but that he insists on his demand that minority Sunnis have a greater voice in the voting.
The main obstacle is Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi's recent veto of a new proposed election law, which has blocked the whole process. According to the AP, he said the law does not give enough seats for Iraqis living abroad, most of whom are fellow Sunnis.
"I did not veto the law for the sake of veto, I had my legitimate justifications," he stated. Al-Hashemi said "there is still time" to reach a compromise on holding the elections for an expanded 323-seat parliament.
Al-Hashemi said he is studying proposals by U.N. monitors to find ways to move ahead with the elections. But he vowed not to lift his veto until the election plans "meet the national interests and fix the shortcomings."