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Iraqi Lawmakers Pass New Election Law

Iraq's lawmakers have passed a new election law after weeks of debate, paving the way for polls to be held next year.

Following the vote on November 4, parliament speaker Usama al-Nujaifi said: "The new law was produced by consensus, which makes it fair for all.”

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the passage of legislation shows Iraq's leaders are committed to compromise and progress.

Voting on the election bill had been repeatedly postponed because of a dispute between Arabs and Kurds, who run their own region in the country’s north.

Iraqi Vice President Kudhair al-Khuzaie issued a decree setting April 30 as the date for the general elections.

The vote is seen as a crucial test for the country, which has suffered from political deadlock and a sharp rise in sectarian violence in recent months.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP