BAGHDAD, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi parliament will convene on Sunday to discuss the decision of allowing hundreds of banned candidates accused of alleged links to former Saddam Hussein's regime to take part in the country's upcoming elections, official television reported on Thursday.
Parliament Speaker Ayad al-Samarrai has called lawmakers for an extra-ordinary session on Sunday at the request of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to study the decision of an appeals panel which allowed the blacklisted politicians to run in the March 7 parliamentary elections, the report said.
On Wednesday, the seven-judge appeals panel postponed the review of the demands submitted by some of the banned politicians to check their charges till after the March 7 elections, giving a green light to the banned politicians to run in the elections.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement on Thursday that the government considers the panel's decision as "illegal" and "unconstitutional."
The debate focused on whether the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to apply the appeals panel decision and allow the banned politicians to run in the elections or to stick to the Accountability and Justice Commission decision which blacklisted hundreds of politicians.
Meanwhile, the state-run channel of Iraqia said that the IHEC decided to resort to the federal court to resolve the impasse.
Last month, the Accountability and Justice Commission, tasked with preventing Saddam Hussein's Baath party members from taking part in the post-war political life, banned over 500 Iraqi politicians from running in the national parliamentary election. Several top Sunni leaders were among the blacklisted.
The anti-Baath commission's move is being widely perceived by the country's Sunnis as an attempt by the Shiite-dominated government to limit the expected gains by Sunni parties in the coming elections.