The official charged with carrying out Iraq's crucial January polls warned Nov. 4 that they will be delayed if parliament doesn't approve a key electoral bill. Any delay in the Jan. 16 elections could plunge Iraq into a crisis, undermining the government and leading to instability just as American troops are preparing to withdraw, a process that's scheduled to ramp up after the vote. Election Commission Chairman Faraj al-Haidari said Parliament must approve a new electoral law when it convenes on Nov. 5, otherwise the Jan. 16 polls will be delayed. Iraqi lawmakers have been arguing for weeks over the election law, which is needed to implement the vote. The key stumbling block has been who should be allowed to vote in Kirkuk, a disputed oil-rich city north of Baghdad that is claimed by both Kurds and Arabs. (AP)

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