Iraq bans 52 candidates after vote
An Iraqi election panel has invalidated the votes cast for 52 candidates in the March 7 elections over alleged ties to former dictator Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party.
A senior official from the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) said Monday that the candidates had one month to file an appeal with a committee of seven judges who could reinstate them.
Ali al-Lami, a senior member of the judicial panel confirmed the ruling which disqualified the 52 on charges of illegal ties to Baath party, Reuters reported Monday.
“Their participation in the election is considered cancelled,” AFP quoted Ali Mahmud, a spokesman for the justice and accountability panel, as saying.
“The appeal panel has rejected appeals from the 52 candidates which the justice and accountability panel discovered,” he added.
Most of the candidate are said to be members of former premier Allawi’s Iraqiya list, which gained a narrow win in the elections.
According to the report, the panel ruled that the parliamentary seats won by the candidates should be retained by their political bloc — a decision that would have no impact on the election result.
The IHEC banned almost 500 candidates from participation in the parliamentary elections for alleged links with the Baath Party.