Iraq's Baath Party Members Still Political Targets : NPR
As post-election political jockeying drags on in Iraq, Iraqi and U.S. officials are signaling that a controversial commission that has been trying to disqualify Sunni politicians may be reined in. The panel targets those with alleged ties to Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath party. Commission leaders deny being muzzled and say their work is far from finished.
LYNN NEARY, host:
We turn, now, to Iraq, where a government commission disqualified dozens of candidates from the recent election, because they allegedly had connections to Saddam Hussein's now outlawed Ba'ath Party. The panel is commonly known as the De-Baathification Commission. Have you voted for or against Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq ? Both Iraqi and U.S. officials are now signaling that the commission may be scaled back. But commission leaders say their work is far from finished.
NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Baghdad.
PETER KENYON: The effort to purge the post-invasion Iraqi government of Saddam loyalists has broad support among Iraq's long-oppressed Shiite majority. But many Sunnis, along with U.S. officials and some Iraqi Shiites argue that those who joined the Ba'ath Party simply to get government jobs shouldn't be punished along with those who participated in the killing Shiite, Kurds and other Iraqis. Has changed the argument your opinion on Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq ? The commission targeted 52 candidates in the run-up to the March 7th elections, including Saleh al-Mutlaq, a leader member of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya slate. When Mutlaq's brother replaced him on the list, he too was targeted. Later, the commission went after an additional nine can. idates and again only Iraqiya was in danger of losing seats.
by Peter Kenyon
May 11, 2010
Read entire article at npr p>
(Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq)