"A parliamentary committee empowered to vet candidates announced Thursday that the list of candidates from the National Dialogue Front, the group led by Mr. Mutlaq, was one of 15 that would be barred from taking part in the elections. The committee said the group promoted the Baath Party of former President Saddam Hussein, which is banned by the Constitution.
Mr. Mutlaq has openly courted factions that still support the Baath Party in Sunni regions, though he insists that alone does not warrant his ban.
He became a leading force in Sunni provinces across Iraq following his group’s relative success in last year’s provincial elections, and he entered a coalition with former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi that many expected to fare well in March. Even moderate success could have ensured Mr. Mutlaq a say in deciding Iraq’s next prime minister."