Lawmakers pulled Iraq back from the brink of a constitutional crisis on Sunday night, brokering a last-minute compromise that will allow for the first national elections since 2005.
A deal on the election law has fallen apart before, underscoring the deep sectarian divide that remains in Iraq, despite a drop in violence. Fighting over the law also threatens to complicate the American withdrawal.
After months of wrangling, the Iraqi Parliament gathered just before midnight to approve a deal that had been secured only hours before in closed-door talks.
“It is a great achievement for Iraq,” said Khalid al-Attiya, a deputy speaker of Parliament, shortly after the vote. The deal had been approved Sunday by Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders, according to government officials, so it was unlikely to collapse again. [continued…]