Iraqi De-Baath commission banned Sunni politicians and their political blocs from participating in Iraq’s national elections due in March.
Ali Al Lami, head of the De-Baath commission, told Arab news televisions that Saleh Al Mutlak is banned from participating in the next elections and said this decision is “final”.
The commission name was changed to justice and accountability commission and its main job is to ensure that high ranking or active Baath party members will not be part of Iraq’s new political regime or military.
The ban included Nihro Mohamed, Saad Al Janabi and Saleh Al Mutlak, a lawmaker and a former Baathi and to include 14 political blocs and its 400 candidates. The commission said that banning the head of a political bloc will extend to his bloc and its members.
Al Mutlak is heading a parliamentary bloc that won more than 11 seats out of 275 in 2005 elections and was part of a committee that wrote the current Iraqi constitution. Al Mutalk is a part of a one of the main political blocs, Iraqiya, headed by Iraq’s former prime minister, Ayad Allawi, who threatened to boycott the elections if the ban was proved.
“This action does not harm me personally but it harms the country and its democracy” said Al Mutlak “They sensed the change is coming and they don’t want to allow it”.
Al Mutlak is a critic of the current government and Kurds.
Qassim Al Aboudi , a commissioner in Iraq’s independent high electoral commission (IHEC) , said “we didn’t receive such an order till now”. He also said that IHEC will announce its position on Saturday.
Some 6470 candidates are competing for 325 seats in the next parliament.
Al Mutlak accused no one in person but said that the Iraqi president and the prime minister didn’t know about the decision and said this decision is politically motivated in order to eliminate competition.
“How they will explain this to the Americans who brought them? Is this democracy? Is this reconciliation” said Al Mutlak.