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IRAQ 20 Apr 2013 Baghdad sets local elections

Iraq’s central government plans Apr 20 governorate elections for all of the country’s provinces except oil-rich Kirkuk. A lingering dispute between Baghd

April 20, 2013 - NULL

IRAQ 20 Apr 2013 Baghdad sets local elections

Iraq's central government plans Apr 20 governorate elections for all of the country's provinces except oil-rich Kirkuk. A lingering dispute between Baghdad and Kirkuk about the status of the province hasn't been resolved. Violence could derail the vote, but if held as planned, it will take the country farther down the path of decentralized government. Iraqi President Nuri al-Maliki, who is from the country's Shiite majority, is reported to be courting disbanded army officers from Sunni areas of the country as a pragmatic bid to avert election violence and to

IRAQ 20 Apr 2013 Baghdad sets local elections

Iraq's central government plans Apr 20 governorate elections for all of the country's provinces except oil-rich Kirkuk. A lingering dispute between Baghdad and Kirkuk about the status of the province hasn't been resolved. Violence could derail the vote, but if held as planned, it will take the country farther down the path of decentralized government. Iraqi President Nuri al-Maliki, who is from the country's Shiite majority, is reported to be courting disbanded army officers from Sunni areas of the country as a pragmatic bid to avert election violence and to boost his own popularity ahead of 2014 elections.

The country last conducted local elections in Jan 2009 in all governorates except the three comprising the Kirkuk Governorate and semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government. Those elections were conducted separately, and without resolving disputes between Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds competing in the region for the upper hand.

AFP notes that although violence is dramatically lower than its peak in 2006 and 2008, when tens of thousands were killed in brutal communal bloodshed, unrest remains higher in Iraq's north and west than in the Shiite-dominated south. Al-Maliki has called for officers from Iraq's mostly-Sunni north and west who served under Saddam Hussein to be reinstated as long as they have no Iraqi blood on their hands.

In 2009, according to a UPI report, more than 14,000 candidates competed for 440 places. More than 20 per cent of the candidates were women. (WRITTEN NOV 2012)

Iraq local elections, Iraq governorate elections, Iraq provincial elections, April 2013, Kirkuk, Kurdistan Regional Government, Kurkuk Governate, Kurds, Turkmen, Arabs, Sunnis, Shiites, President Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq, Middle East, Saddam Hussein

RELATED READING:

Iraq to have provincial vote in April (UPI 2 Nov 2012)
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2012/11/02/Iraq-to-have-provincial-vote-in-April/UPI-29011351872815/

Iraq looks to reinstate disbanded army officers (AFP/Daily Star 25 Oct)
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Oct-25/192689-iraq-looks-to-reinstate-disbanded-army-officers.ashx#ixzz2CPO6h6Qt

Date written/update: 2013-04-20