Friday, January 15, 2010

Shia clerics fear Baathist return to power

'A senior Shi'ite Muslim cleric on Friday defended a panel's decision to bar almost 500 candidates from Iraq's next election because of ties to Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath party, likening the party to the Nazis.

As a controversy threatening to reopen the wounds of Iraq's sectarian divide deepened, Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (ISCI) lawmaker Mohammad al-Haidari called for the ban to be enforced.

"The Baath party is worse than the Nazi party," Haidari said in a speech during Friday prayers. "If Baathists return to power, God forbid, their revenge will be even more ferocious."

The Justice and Accountability Commission, an independent body that aims in part to ensure the Baath party does not return to public life, said last week that 15 parties should be prevented from standing in the March 7 election.

The list included prominent Sunni leader Saleh al-Mutlaq, generating widespread protests from once dominant Sunnis that Iraq's majority Shi'ites were trying to sideline them.'


Maury said...

Banning people from elections doesn't sound right unless they've been convicted of a crime. Not liking their politics just don't cut it.

Iraqi Mojo said...

I agree. They should let the Baathists run and no doubt the Baathists will win no more than 15% of the vote. The Iraqi govt's behavior is indicative of their fear of the Baathists. Christopher Hill may need to interfere once again to mediate.

American diplomatic efforts, backed up by good security, are key in helping Iraq become a truly democratic nation. Baathist tyranny is fresh in the minds of many Shia, who will do anything to prevent Baathist rule. The continued violence perpetuated by Baathists and the crazy talk by Arab nationalists does not help matters.

Maury said...

This seems a lot like the de-baathification effort headed by Chalabi Mojo. Thousands of people lost their jobs because they were Baath Party members,but they had to become members to get those jobs. They're basically saying no politicians from that era can ever run for office. What do you want to bet that Sadman was just as unpopular with politicians as he was with everyone else? Like everyone else,they probably just learned to keep their mouths shut.

David All said...

There may have been good reasons, i.e. they were die-hard Bathists, to ban some of the candidates but 500 sounds way too many. Think that Iraq Pundit is more or less correct in his post at