Official: Iraqi elections now set for March 7

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Iraq has changed the date of its general elections for the second time in a day, with officials saying the vote will now take place on Sunday, March 7.

The presidential chief-of-staff, Nasser al-Ani, announced the date to reporters on Tuesday, hours after Iraqi officials had said the vote would happen on Saturday, March 6.

Officials have not explained the reason for the one-day delay. However, local media reports say Kurdish groups objected to the March 6 date because it coincides with the anniversary of the 1975 Algiers Agreement between Iran and Iraq.

The vote was originally set for January 16, but the government postponed the date because parliament took months to approve an electoral law the Iraqi constitution says must be in place 60 days before the vote. That law was passed on Sunday.