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Iraq: Election Commission Receives Names Of Ex-Ba'athist Candidates

(AFP) The Baghdad bureau of RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) spoke with Iraqi Independent Election Commission (IECI) Director-General Adil al-Lami about the IECI's decision to disqualify dozens of candidates for the parliamentary election based on those candidates' ties to the outlawed Ba'ath Party. The interview was broadcast on 8 December.

Al-Lami: The Iraqi Independent Election Commission is obliged to comply with all laws and regulations approved by the National Assembly, and the regulations and laws resulting from the Transitional Administrative Law. This is one thing.

Another thing is that the de-Ba'athification Commission has provided us with lists of 130 [candidates] to whom the laws on de-Ba'athification apply. The Iraqi Independent Electoral Commission has been notified of the de-Ba'athification measures related to those persons. The Iraqi Independent Election Commission has addressed the political entities so that they take a position that would comply with the opinion of the de-Ba'athification Commission and consequently inform us of their final decision on the status of those candidates.

Today I received a letter from the de-Ba'athification Commission exempting 20 names from the lists previously sent to us earlier. This means that the de-Ba'athification Commission does not take these lists to be definitive and final.

We implement a law when all relevant measures are completed and when all periods for raising remarks on the law expire. The de-Ba'athification Commission also takes measures in this context. A statement on this issue will be released.

RFI: Displeasure can be observed among the Iraqi public about problems that have marked the ongoing electoral campaign. Has the Iraqi Independent Election Commission taken any steps to avoid chaos?

Al-Lami: The Iraqi Independent Election Commission is an executive body that administers the elections. It has issued regulations and instructions that apply to all political parties and groups taking part in this upcoming election, and even to government institutions.

In its Regulation No. 8, the Iraqi Independent Election Commission has defined that this or that particular act are to be viewed as misdeeds or law violations. [Under this regulation] any impaired party must have recourse to sanctions defined by law.

(Translated by Petr Kubalek)

Iraqi Election Poster

Iraqi Election Poster

Click on the poster for an enlarged image.

The Iraqi Independent Electoral Commission issued posters in Arabic and the two dialects of Kurdish on the allocation of National Assembly seats by governorate for the 15 December National Assembly election. The poster says, "230 seats for the governorates, as well as 45 compensatory and national seats," while the corresponding map shows the breakdown of seats by governorate.

For more background on the election, click here .

For a complete archive of RFE/RL coverage, background, and analysis of the December 15, 2005, legislative elections, click here.

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