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September 16, 2008

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Alex

I am having a bit of difficulty here, being one of those who doesn't follow everything. Is the "old provincial elections law" the one that was passed by the parliament in July, and then vetoed by the presidency? Or something further back? The July law sounded OK to me, only it wasn't too good for the Kurds. Could you provide some links to explain the position?

bb

So what's been happening with this since September 16?

aardvark

bb - continued failure to vote on the law, I'm afraid. Serves me right for being optimistic.
Alex - "old law" here refers to the rules governing the 2005 provincial elections, which is actually fairly problematic. The still-stalled negotiations are over amendments to the vetoed law from July.

bb

Thanks AA. From this Land of Oz armchair perspective it's very, very hard to see how this is going to be resolved. In the Dec 2005 national election in that province the Kurds got over 53% of national vote; the 3 Sunni Arab parties got about 30% between them and the Turkomen got 11%. (Dunno where the rest of the vote went, assume minor parties who didn't poll a quota and got distributed proportionately).

Anyway the Kurds are a clear majority in a 53/41 split and presumably their demographic majority has grown since then.

Given the arabs and the turkomen would not be able to see a democratic vote giving them even a power-sharing roles in the province of course they are going to be intransigent? So will the Kurds for opposite reasons. From their point of view, in a democratic vote they are the majority after all.

The UN has gone the only course that I can see ... ie recommending putting off the vote and having committees of inquiry. But of course the Kurds are already the status quo provincial cabinet there, by virtue of their superior numbers, so any acceptance of status quo means effectively the Sunni Arabs and Turkomen will be conceding.

The demographics are fully against the SA and T's, but Kirkuk is a visceral issue for both, as it is for the Kurds.

From a practical politics perspective, the only resolution I can see is if the Kurds are prepared to cut a side deal with either the Turkomen or one of the Sunni Arab parties where they give them a slice of the trough? But I dunno enough about the history of the factions in Kirkuk to know if this is feasible?

Given above, I think you could be a bit more understanding of the unique reasons why this is posing such a problem to the passage of the Bill, AA. Especially when the rest of the Bill seems to be a great advancement, in many respects, on prevous elections?

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