Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 17:47 UK

Iraq MPs approve new election law

Iraqi soliders walk past provincial election posters
Provincial elections are already being advertised in Iraq

The Iraqi parliament has approved a law paving the way for provincial elections the government wants held in October.

But the parliamentary session was marked by a walk-out of Kurdish MPs.

Correspondents say that a law passed without the Kurds is unlikely to get the necessary ratification of President Jalal Talabani, himself a Kurd.

The Kurdish members of parliament boycotted the vote in a dispute over how the legislation would be applied to the northern city of Kirkuk.

Kurds argue that the city should become part of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific