For those of you who follow the news about the upcoming Iraqi local elections as obsessively as I do, here’s a revealing nugget from Marc Lynch, who has met visiting Iraqis at USIP:
[Kurdish MP Fryad] Rwadzi stated with considerable confidence that the provincial elections could not be held this year, primarily for technical reasons – the inability to come to agreement on an electoral system, the lack of usable databases or effective voter registration, the need to contract electoral assistance, and so on. He thought that February or March 2009 might be a reasonable goal. There was some interesting discussion of the argument over closed vs open list systems. The speakers generally agreed that the people preferred open list and the pollitical parties preferred closed list, but that there were also problems raised by the constitutionally required quotas for women and minorities (which are very difficult to guarantee with an open list).