Cassation Court Panel issues judgments on ‘banned’ candidates: Updated

Posted on | February 11, 2010

As the campaigning for the election on 7 March 2010 begins, the Washington Post reported that on Thursday 11 February 2010, the Panel of members of the Court of Cassation had released its judgments on the appeals of those determined by the Commission for Accountability and Justice to be covered by the Deba’thification law (and thereby barred from standing for election by the Independent High Electoral Commission).

Two prominent members of the current Parliament, Saleh al-Mutlaq and Dhafer al-Ani, from the Iraqi Bloc list of former prime minister Iyad Allawi were not authorised to contest the upcoming vote, being unsuccessful in their appeals.

The Accountability and Justice Law No. 10 of 2008 does not specifically refer to candidates for election but provides a process by which senior Ba’th party members are to be identified and barred from public office. It is possible to appeal under Article 2(9) & (10) of that law to a Cassation Board of Accountability and Justice.

There is a separate appeal route under Article 8(3) and (4) of the Independent High Electoral Commission Law No. 11 of 2007 to an Electoral Judicial Panel (also drawn from members of the Court of Cassation) from a decision of the Independent High Electoral Commission to bar a candidate from office.

It is somewhat unclear whether the Cassation Panel in these cases was acting as one or other or both of these appellate bodies combined.

Rediar Visser has some interesting analysis here.
Numbers are somewhat imprecise but the general trend is clear.
UPDATE: The New York Times reported on 13 February 2010 that there were 515 candidates originally identified as ineligible to stand, 171 appeals and that 145 were unsuccessful and 26 successful.
UPDATE: Associated Press reports carried on a number of sites on 14 February 2010 states that Accountability and Justice Commission Panel attorney Abdul Rihman Sabri said 535 candidates were initially flagged for having Baathist ties, but 67 were cleared after an investigation indicated their names were only similar to those of Baath party members. Nearly 300 candidates were either replaced by their parties or dropped out of the running. Sabri said that of the 177 candidates who appealed the blacklist, 26 were cleared to run. A seven-judge appeals panel appointed by the country’s Supreme Judicial Council is still said to be looking at a handful of cases.