Iraq Court Bars Candidates with Saddam Hussein Ties from Elections

An appellate court in Iraq has ruled that candidates who have alleged ties with Flag-of-Iraqthe Baath Party of former leader Saddam Hussein will not be allowed to run in the national elections slated March 7.

The deputy head of the Iraqi High Electoral Commission Hamdiya al-Husseini said that the ruling is already final making 145 candidates as disqualified from running for parliamentary seats.

Campaign officially began Friday, February 11.

The barred candidates immediately announced their protests. One of those disqualified, Saleh al-Mutlak, a Sunni, has accused that the move was done due to pressures from Iran.

Mutlak’s political bloc, the Iraqi National Movement, has declared that they will stop their campaigns for three days to protest the ruling. The bloc is headed by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a Shiite.

Under Iraqi law established by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in 2003, Baath loyalists cannot hold top government positions. The problem is there are no clear criteria as who should be labeled as Baathist or not.