Yesterday the Accountability and Justice Commission (also known as the “de-Baathification commission”) moved to bar prominent Sunni politician Salah al-Mutlaq from contesting the country’s national elections in March. This may have disastrous ramifications for national reconciliation, marginalise the Sunnis once again, and prove disastrous for broader Iraqi politics and security, as well as US plans for withdrawal which depends on stability in the country.
Though this may seem like an entirely anti-Sunni campaign in anticipation of the coming elections, the list does include other groups including Kurd Arshad al-Zibari of The [Iraqi] Kurdistan Justice Party. Arshad al-Zibari is considered a discredited “Jash” because of his involvement with the Baath government. Reports suggest he was a close ally of Saddam, a friend, and a member of his security group.
He is also part of the al-Hadba group in Mosul which controls the provincial council there. Al-Hadba is dominated by Baath loyalists; curiously, the commission does not ban them outright.
The full list of those the commission seeks to ban – a total of 15 – is provided below. Iraq’s electoral commission will decide within days whether to ban them, after it has received the Justice committee’s formal report, and suspected parties can then launch an appeal before a panel of three judges appointed specifically to deal with electoral matters.
1. The Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, headed by Salih al-Mutlaq
“2. The Iraqi National Unity Grouping, headed by Nihru Abd-al-Karim
“3. The Solution Movement, headed by Jamal al-Karbuli
“4. The Iraqi Republican Grouping, headed by Sa’d Asim al-Janabi
“5. The Al-Rafidayn National Trend, headed by Husayn al-Safi
“6. The Iraqi Al-Sawa’id Grouping, headed by Salih al-Sa’idi
“7. The Our Sons Bloc, headed by Abdallah al-Wahb
“8. The National Council of the Grouping of Iraqi Tribes, headed by Mustafa al-Juburi
“9. The Iraqi Social Movement, headed by Ahmad al-Rakan
“10. Sa’d al-Juburi List, headed by Sa’d al-Juburi
“11. The Kurdistan Justice Party, Arshad al-Zibari
“12. The All of Iraq Bloc, headed by Jawhar al-Harki
“13. The People’s Trend, headed by Ali al-Sajri
“14. The Iraqi Resurrection Party, headed by Abd-al-Jabbar al-Khazraji
“15. The National Change Plan, headed by Ali Khalifah”