68 Killed, 81 Wounded As Iraq Election Commission Quits

At least 68 people were killed and 81 were wounded across Iraq today. Also, a month shy of national elections, the Independent High Electoral Commission quit en masse over what they described as "interference" with their jobs.

The nine members of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) quit their posts today over conflicting rulings from the legislative and judicial branches of government. Parliament could reject these resignations, and it is not expected to delay next month’s election.

One complaint the commission has is the barring of candidates on Ba’ath Party charges. This tactic was used in previous elections to help Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s party win seats.

Another is the requirement that the candidates have a "good reputation." However, there is no clear system to appeal negative judicial opinions in such cases. Parliament meanwhile, insists that the candidates simply have no criminal convictions. Iraq’s judiciary has long been accused of favoring Maliki and this could be a manifestation of that control.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Diyala province are threatening to boycott the elections altogether over what they see as deteriorating security conditions. Although, Diyala has been one of the more restive provinces for the last several years, in recent days militants have been trying to take over towns as they have in Anbar.

Anbar:

Six people were killed and 10 more were wounded during an artillery barrage in Falluja. The local government announced that a regiment is being built to storm the city.

Gunmen killed a police captain in Ramadi.

One gunman was killed as he tried to sneak-in through the border with Syria.

Violent clashes took place in Garma.

Clashes also took place in Saqlawiya.

Elsewhere:

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber killed nine people, including three civilians, and wounded at least 26 more near the Muthanna Bridge. A bomb killed four people and wounded four more in western Baghdad. The body of a young man was found. Security forces killed a gunman.

Eight soldiers were killed and 14 more were wounded when gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Tarmiya.

A bomb in Taji killed four soldiers and wounded 11 more.

Gunmen killed five soldiers in Ain-Jahash.

In Mosul, gunmen killed three civilians and a policeman in separate attacks. Three militants were killed in an operation. A female politician was gunned down.

A double-bomb blast targeting Sunni lawmakers near Baquba left three bodyguards dead and three more wounded. A woman and a child were killed when a bomb exploded at their home; three others were wounded.

In Baquba, militants killed four civilians. Two militants were killed in a clash.

In Tikrit, gunmen killed a policeman and wounded his wife. A sticky bomb wounded a civilian. A police captain was gunned down.

Gunmen in Arbil killed two women and wounded three others.

Security forces killed a "security advisor" for al-Qaeda during an operation in Samarra.

A bomb wounded three civilians in Balad Ruz.

Two soldiers were wounded in Jalawla when gunmen attacked their checkpoint.

Two gunmen were killed when they attacked a checkpoint in Baiji.

A gunman was killed at a Muqdadiya checkpoint.

Read more by Margaret Griffis

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has
been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.