Delay looks likely for Iraqi Elections

Kurdish blocs agree the elections should be delayed. Jamal Kojar, a member of the parliamentary Kurdistan Alliance bloc, said in a statement to the New Sabah paper that the “postponement of elections is the best option in light of the current conditions.”

He added, “The current situation makes it difficult for Iraqi citizens to cast their vote under a democratic atmosphere and away from security [threats].”

However, it seems some parties of the Shiite National Alliance insist on holding the elections on time. The State of Law Coalition, headed by Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, said, “Postponing the elections will threaten the political process in Iraq and lead to a constitutional vacuum.” Maliki stressed the need to commit to the constitutional deadlines.

Issues not addressed in the election bill could also create problems, such as a push by the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and political parties close to it to allow its members to participate in the elections. If the PMU gets permission to participate, it's likely to gain much of the majority Shiite vote because of the PMU's work to push IS out of the country.

Abadi is trying to keep political parties with armed factions, such as the PMU, from participating, as they are prohibited from doing by existing laws. But PMU leaders are insisting, and there are some gaps in the law they can exploit.

For example, some have begun "resigning" from their military positions in the PMU so they can participate in elections. But these moves are just for show, as they are retaining their influence within their factions.

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