Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sits in a modestly gilded chair.
Iraq’s recent election was supposed to remove Nouri al-Maliki from power, but the prime minister, sounding rather like a Bond villain, declared “the game is still very much on.” Now a governmental commission created to keep Baathists out of public life says that on the night before the election it banned six candidates who went on to win.
Guess that’s what happens when George W. Bush, that model of a participant in free and fair elections, is your liberator and sponsor. —PZS
The body, known as the Accountability and Justice Commission, played a prominent role in the lead-up to the election in March, outlawing dozens of candidates and sparking fears of another mass Sunni boycott, as well as concerns that it had a political agenda. The six candidates were banned on the eve of the election.
Ali Faisal al-Lami, the commission’s head, who was a losing Shia contender in the poll, refused today to reveal their names. However, it is understood that at least three hail from the Iraqiya party of Ayad Allawi, whose slender two-seat victory over rival Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister before the election, gave him the stronger claim on forming a government.