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Iraq Bars Nearly 500 Candidates From National Poll

Iraqi election authorities have barred nearly 500 politicians and parties from contesting the country's upcoming national poll.

Hamdia Husseini, a senior official with the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), said today the excluded candidates "fell under the law of the committee of justice and accountability."

She didn't say if the excluded included candidates or parties linked to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's outlawed Ba'ath party, but Iraqi law bars Saddam loyalists from taking part in elections.

Iraq will hold parliamentary elections on March 7.

compiled from agency reports