Back in May, in one of the first posts in this blog titled “Newsflash: Provincial elections postponed”, I noted that the Iraqi parliament had failed to pass crucial legislation for the country to be able to hold provincial elections on October 1, and wondered why that wasn’t big news.
It still isn’t big news, but today the sorry saga of political squabbling and widening ethnic divisions came to a conclusion of sorts, as a planned special session of parliament was cancelled after lawmakers failed to reach a quorum despite hours of negotiations.
Still, even with the Kirkuk question unsolved, Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish lawmaker, said, according to Reuters, that “a compromise was close at hand and parliament would hold another vote when faction leaders signal they have reached a deal”:
‘We are waiting for the white smoke to rise. […] There is hope, and many disputed issues have been removed and there are guarantees for all parties.’
Even if the elections are held first thing in 2009, five months is an awfully long time in Iraq, certainly long enough for the aspiring local players of the Sahwat movement in Anbar to go back to the mattresses in frustration.