BAGHDAD - A spokesman says Iraq's presidential council has agreed on a law that paves the way for U.S.-backed provincial elections to be held by the end of January.
The spokesman for the panel, Nasser al-Ani, tells The Associated Press that the law has gained unanimous approval from the three-member panel and will be officially signed later Friday.
Al-Ani says the panel led by President Jalal Talabani decided to approve the law on Monday but did not sign it due to Islamic holidays.
The move is a breakthrough for U.S. efforts to promote national reconciliation after months of deadlock over power-sharing issues in northern Iraq.
Iraqi lawmakers set aside the divisive issues of the oil-rich region around Kirkuk and representation of minorities.