Monday, April 26, 2010
Iraqi Court Disqualifies Dozens of Candidates - NYTimes.com
BAGHDAD – Seven weeks after Iraqis went to the polls, a special elections court disqualified a winning parliamentary candidate, likely reversing the narrow defeat of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s coalition and possibly allowing him the first chance to form a new coalition government.
The court disqualified the candidate on charges he was a loyalist of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party and left open the possibility or barring still more.
The court’s decisions, if upheld on appeal, would erase the two-seat victory by a largely secular coalition led by Ayad Allawi, a Shiite who served as an interim prime minister after the American overthrow of Mr. Hussein.
At a minimum, it will further delay the formation of a new government through the months when the Obama administration planned to withdraw its combat troops, leaving a force of only 50,000 after September.
Iraqi officials now grimly predict that there might not be a new government in place by that deadline, putting the Obama administration in a difficult position of deciding whether to press ahead with its plans despite the political uncertainty here.