Babylon & Beyond

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IRAQ: Sunni VP won't block Baath Party law

February 2, 2008 |  7:02 pm

Iraq's Sunni vice president told The Times on Saturday he will not block the passage of a controversial new law dealing with the late dictator Saddam Hussein's Baath Party.

Vice President Tariq Hashimi explained that Sunday was the last day that the presidency council could have taken action against the legislation. Instead, he said that the three-member council will send additional recommendations to parliament in the coming weeks to resolve the problems with the law.

"I don't want to deliver any sort of challenge to the parliament or challenge to the government or the political entities. At the end of the day, what I need is to amend the law," Hashimi said.

The legislation approved by parliament last month allows former Baathists to return to state jobs, but also blocks high-ranking members from serving in the security forces, the Foreign Ministry and key leadership posts. The law could result in the dismissal of an estimated 7,000 officers who have already been granted waivers to return to work.

In the past, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has accused the presidency council  of delaying passage of the legislation.

— Baghdad bureau