Sunni leader to appeal national election ban 2010-01-09 17:30:01   Print

    BAGHDAD, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi prominent Sunni politician pledged to appeal the decision by a committee to bar him from running the polls due to alleged ties to Saddam Hussein's regime, official newspaper reported Saturday.

    "Lawmaker Saleh al-Mutlak, head of the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, plans to resort the Iraqi judiciary to appeal the decision of the Justice and Accountability Committee which banned him and his party from taking part in March 7 parliamentary polls," the state-run al-Sabah newspaper said.

    On Thursday, Ali Faysal al-Lami, the executive director of the Justice and Accountability Committee, decided to ban 14 political parties, including Mutlak's, from running the elections because they had allegedly promoted former leader Saddam Hussein's ruling Baathist party, which has been banned in Iraq according to the country's constitution.

    On Friday, Mutlak, a Sunni secular, warned in a press conference in Baghdad that many Sunni parties and some other secular parties may boycott the elections, threatening the country to continue suffer divisions in the forthcoming years of the Iraqi political life.

    Mutlak's party had joined a larger alliance named the Iraqi National Movement, which includes the former prime minister Ayad Allawi, a Shiite secular, and Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni Arab, along with 20 other political parties to run the March elections as a one bloc.

    "The committee's decision is politically motivated as the national bloc becomes too popular and it would possibly be the biggest bloc in the coming parliament, so they want to weaken it before the elections," Mutlak said.

    The Justice and Accountability Committee, formerly was called the De-Baathification Committee, established by the American authorities in Iraq after the invasion in 2003. The committee is tasked with vetting parliamentary candidates for the upcoming election for ties to dissolved Saddam Hussein's Baath party.

Special Report: Tension escalates in Iraq

Editor: Deng Shasha
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