Updated at 4:50 p.m. EST, Jan 8, 2010
At least 10 Iraqis were killed and 12 more were wounded in the latest attacks; however, the Accountability and Justice Committee’s decision to ban several lists yesterday could foreshadow a larger increase in violence than was previously expected. Accusations continue to fly since the decision was announced. Meanwhile, British Ambassador to Iraq, John Jenkins, told the Chilcot Inquiry that democracy is not completely established in Iraq and a coup is still a possibility.
In a move that may re-ignite sectarian tensions and force another election boycott, the Accountability and Justice Committee (a.k.a. De-Ba’athification Committee) has barred a popular Sunni lawmaker from running again in the March election. Saleh al-Mutlaq stands accused of supporting the now-banned Ba’ath Party but will appeal the decision. After the announcement, Mutlaq declared that "there is no state" if such decisions can be made by civil servants.
Mutlaq believes his frequent criticism of the Nouri al-Maliki government contributed to the ban. Indeed, only two days ago Mutlaq knocked Maliki’s Army Day speech, but the antagonism has been building for months. After Mutlaq and another former Ba’athist politician, Ayad Allawi, formed the Iraqi National Movement alliance late last year, Maliki declared he would use his constitutional power to prevent the Ba’ath Party, or those accused of still belonging to it, from gaining power. The ban could be Maliki’s latest attempt to make good on that promise. Other politicians have expressed concern that this is merely a political ploy. Police also stopped demonstrations in favor of Mutlaq over a lack of permits.
Seven people were wounded during a car bombing in Shirqat.
A booby-trapped car exploded in Ras al-Jadeh, killing two policemen.
U.S. forces killed five gunmen on a highway south of Mosul.
Three people were killed and five were wounded in a tribal clash in Sinjar.
The Interior Ministry has completed preparations for tomorrow’s Police Day celebration.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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