Iraq court bans 100 former Baath members from elections

[JURIST] An Iraqi court ruled Saturday that some 100 as-yet-publicly-unspecified candidates - most believed to be Sunnis - who ran in the December 15 Iraqi parliamentary elections will be struck and not allowed to serve in the next national assembly due to previous associations with Saddam Hussein's now-defunct Baath Party [BBC backgrounder]. Commentators fear the decision will further polarize Iraqi politics at a time when many Sunnis still support the insurgency. The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq [official website] is still counting ballots and expects to have results available by next month, but preliminary counts [IECI partial uncertified results] show many popular Sunni politicians, including several candidates on US-supported former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's ticket, were in the lead before the ruling was announced. The Iraqi government's DeBaathification Commission [official website] had submitted a list of 185 former party members to the election committee with directions not to allow their candidacies, pursuant to election rules [Iraqi election law text, PDF] stating that if candidates had reached a certain level within the Baath Party, they would be banned if they had not renounced their former association; some candidates voluntarily withdrew their names, and many on the list were removed from consideration by the court ruling. Many Sunnis claimed election fraud [JURIST report] after partial election results revealed that they had won fewer parliamentary seats than had been hoped. Knight-Ridder has more. Aljazeera offers additional coverage.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.