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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.





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