BAGHDAD, March 19 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi cabinet on Tuesday decided to postpone the provincial elections in the Sunni provinces of Anbar and Nineveh for a maximum period of six months due to deterioration in security across the country, an Iraqi official television reported.
"The Council of Ministers decided in its regular session today to postpone the provincial elections of the councils in the provinces of Anbar and Nineveh for a maximum period of six months because of the security situation," the state-run al-Iraqia channel said.
Earlier, the cabinet set April 20 as the date for the elections in 15 out of 18 provinces, as the other three provinces are part of the autonomous region of Kurdistan.
The provincial elections in the other thirteen provinces will be held as scheduled on April 20, the channel said, changing the earlier story of postponement of the elections all over the country.
It said that the polls postponement in the two Sunni provinces came after a decision made by the Commander in Chief of Iraq's armed forces, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, because of the security situation and to prevent al-Qaida organization from winning positions as governors and members of provincial governments in the two provinces.
The cabinet meeting came as a series of car bombing hit in central Iraq on Tuesday morning, which reportedly killed at least 36 people and wounded some 150 others.
The latest provincial elections in Iraq were held on January 31, 2009. The local elections are due to be held every four years, according to the Iraqi constitution.