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Allawi's Al-Iraqiyah To Appeal Decision To Disqualify Candidates


Locking out suspected Ba'athists?
Iraq's former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has said that his secular Al-Iraqiyah bloc has instructed lawyers to appeal a decision to invalidate the votes cast for 52 parliamentary candidates because of their ties to Saddam Hussein's banned Ba'ath Party.

Allawi told a news conference in Ankara that Al-Iraqiyah is "very concerned about certain groups controlling the political process in Iraq."

The decision earlier today by an Iraqi judicial panel throws into question the results of March's parliamentary elections.

The justice and accountability panel said the ruling would affect two winning candidates. The panel also said it would issue a ruling on April 27 on nine other election winners who could lose their seats.

The Sunni-backed Al-Iraqiyah alliance won 91 seats in the 325-seat parliament.

Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition came in second with 89 seats.

A recount of votes in Baghdad also has been ordered by the judicial panel, which could further influence the composition of parlimanet.

compiled from agency reports