The formation of the new government was thrown into disarray as an Iraqi court began to disqualify candidates who ran in last month’s parliamentary elections. At least seven Iraqis were killed and 17 were wounded in new violence.
An Iraqi court disqualified 52 candidates, including one winner from the Iraqiya party, over alleged involvement with the now-illegal Ba’ath Party. It is unclear what the latest disqualifications would mean to the overall picture, but it is certain to delay the formation of the new government. Votes for the candidates were thrown out and new results for parliamentary elections will have to be calculated. More court decisions are expected tomorrow.Ayad Allawi, the head of the Iraqiya party, demanded U.N. intervention.
The head of the Independent High Electoral Commission, Faraj al-Haidari, called a recount of Baghdad votes, which was granted by the same court as the disqualifications, "just some kind of a political demonstration" on the part of the Nouri al-Maliki government. Iraqiya came out slightly ahead of Maliki’s State of Law party giving them a slight edge in forming the new government.
One civilian was killed and four more were wounded in a sticky bomb blast in Baquba. A weapons cache was confiscated.
In Baghdad, two blasts wounded three people, including a policeman.
A roadside bomb targeting a U.S. patrol in Taji wounded two Iraqis instead.
No casualties were reported after a U.S. camp in Hilla suffered a mortar attack.
A roadside bomb targeting a U.S. patrol in Diwaniya left no casualties.
Five al-Qaeda members handed themselves over to police in Baquba.
In Karbala, police arrested a kidnapping gang.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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