Iraqi lawmakers approveda law that clears the way for parliament elections early next year.

The law was approved late Sunday night in an emergency parliament session after days of wrangling by politicians. It is seen as an important step toward political reconciliation and easing the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Shortly before midnight, lawmakers nearly unanimously approved the law that has been mired for weeks over demands for greater political voice for minority Sunnis and the distribution of seats in Iraq's expanded 325-seat parliament in next year's election.