Key Shiite Leaders Reject Bill Allowing Former Baathists to Return to Posts

World

A long-awaited Bill to allow members of Saddam Hussain's Sunni Baath party to return to public life in Iraq was tabled in parliament yesterday but immediately rejected by jeering hardline Shiites.

Washington regards the bill as vital to stuttering reconciliation efforts in Iraq and it has made its adoption one of 18 benchmarks by which the progress of Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki's Shiite-led government can be measured.

The first reading of the Justice and Accountability Law, which has been stalled in the deeply-divided parliament for months, was greeted with heckles by lawmakers of Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr's political bloc.

"No! No, to Baathists," the Sadrists shouted, noisily banging their desks and prompting parliamentary speaker Mahmoud Mashhadani to order the session to continue behind closed doors.

"The draft violates the Iraqi constitution," Falah Hasan Shanshal, an Al Sadr group lawmaker, told the parliament, according to a statement issued by the assembly.

His colleague, Baha'a Al Araji said the Al Sadr bloc had several reservations regarding the Bill.

Back to legal committee

Ezzat Shahbandar, from a parliamentary committee dealing with the issue, said the Bill had been sent back to the legislature's legal body for changes. He said this meant the government might want to review any fresh amendments to a bill that some officials say has already been revised four times. "This means it will take a long time," Shahbandar said. Related art

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}