'An emergency session of Parliament called by Mr. Maliki to deal with the crisis failed to muster a quorum on Sunday and was postponed. Tensions over the dispute flared elsewhere, as thousands of protesters attended anti-Baathist rallies in Baghdad and Basra organized by Mr. Maliki’s political organization, the Dawa Party.
The Baghdad rally was broadcast at length on state television, showing Mr. Maliki’s aides denouncing those sympathetic to the Baath Party, which has been banned in Iraq since Mr. Hussein’s overthrow in 2003.
One protester waved an American flag with the word “Baath” in Arabic replacing the stars, an indication of the fiercely anti-American oratory that Mr. Maliki and his supporters have used since the crisis began last month. In an unusually undiplomatic exchange, Mr. Maliki’s government has accused the American ambassador, Christopher R. Hill, of interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs by trying to put pressure on the judiciary to reinstate the candidates, which the American Embassy disputed.
Those who attended the rallies fulminated against the Baath Party, warning that its supporters were plotting to return to power. “Even if my finger was a Baathist, I would amputate it,” said one tribal leader at the Baghdad rally, Aidan Salman Hayawi.'