'A revival of the Baath Party itself seems almost inconceivable now, but many of those challenging Mr. Maliki have appealed to Sunnis with sympathies to elements of the old regime, particular in the military and former government elite. Mr. Maliki himself has excoriated the Baath Party’s remnants in exile, accusing them of colluding with terrorist groups to carry out a series of devastating attacks since last August.
Many lawmakers accused the commission of settling scores on behalf of the Shiite-dominated parties, at the behest of Iran.
“The decision of the commission is a sword on my neck because of my opinions against Iran,” said Dhafir al-Ani, another Sunni who was disqualified.
Mr. Maliki himself made no immediate statement responding to the court’s decision.
Iraq remains so deeply divided that even establishing the rules for an election — which was supposed to happen in December and then in January — has been fraught for much of the last year, largely paralyzing the work of the Parliament. An election law stalled for months last year, only to passed, then vetoed, passed again and finally amended after another intense round of international intervention.'