Iraq PM calls for parliament debate on decision to reinstate election candidates
The Iraqi PM has called for a parliament debate on Sunday to debate what his government branded an "illegal" decision to reinstate election candidates with alleged links to former president Saddam Hussein. According to AFP, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had sought the extraordinary session from parliament speaker Iyad Samarrai "to study the decision of the seven judges" who reversed the disqualifications, state television said.
The electoral commission declared on Wednesday that the judges had ruled that some 500 candidates barred from Iraq's March 7 general election could stand after all. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh in a statement Thursday labelled the ruling "illegal" and "unconstitutional."
Dabbagh stressed the government vehemently opposed the decision. "The government underlines the importance of respecting Iraq's judicial and constitutional mechanisms to ensure that the rule of law applies to all," he said in the statement. "Delaying the application of the (electoral) law on integrity and justice until after the elections is illegal and unconstitutional. "The appeal decision goes beyond its powers because it is a duty to enforce the law on integrity and justice," Dabbagh added.