Iraq Postpones Elections

February 8, 2010

Iraq’s independent election commission has postponed the start of parliamentary races. Officials say that they need time to determine who is eligible to campaign after a ban was lifted on hundreds of potential candidates.

An Iraqi appeals court last wednesday overturned an effort to bar hundreds of candidates from running for office. Most of the people barred were formerly aligned with Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party, and many of them were previously members of parliament. The ban threatened to disenfranchise Sunnis and open up possible sectarian tensions that have plagued Iraq for the past few years.

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Militant insurgents bombed several hotels and an office of the ministry over the course of this week in Bagdad, Iraq.

On Monday, there was a coordinated attack in Bagdad in which three bombs in 10 minutes were targeted at hotels known for serving foreign reporters, soon these hotels were to house foreign observers for the March 7th Iraqi elections. An article in the New York Times by Anthony Shadid and John Leland said that these attacks are “underscoring the uncertainty of the political landscape weeks before parliamentary elections.”

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