[JURIST] Iraq's Presidency Council Wednesday withdrew its objections [JURIST report] to a provincial elections law detailing the relationship between Iraq's central and local governments. In a statement issued Wednesday, the three-member Presidency Council, comprised of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi [BBC profiles], and Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi [personal website, in Arabic; EPIC profile, PDF], indicated that the law may now take effect without any changes. The election law represents one of the 18 benchmarks [JURIST report] identified by the White House last year as important steps towards stability in Iraq. The New York Times has more.
The draft local elections law was part of a package of legislation approved [JURIST report] by the Council of Representatives earlier in February that also included the 2008 budget and an amnesty bill [JURIST report] that will lead to the release of roughly 5,000 prisoners. The Presidency Council approved both the budget and the amnesty bill on February 27.