Updated at 8:38 p.m. EST, Feb. 9, 2010
Candidates hoping to run in March elections despite a ban found themselves left in the cold when an appeals committee rejected all but 37 of their cases. Meanwhile, at least four Iraqis were killed and 17 more were wounded in light violence. Also, the Salah ad-Din council appears to still be playing a game of political musical chairs.
Scores of candidates hoping to appeal an election ban that prevented them from running in next month’s election filed their appeals improperly, causing them to lose their chance at running. From about 177 appeals cases, only 37 were lodged "correctly" according to officials. Among those who failed to present their cases properly was prominent Sunni lawmaker, Saleh al-Mutlaq.
This development is the latest in a series of events that many believe is an attempt to help Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki retain power. Originally, over 500 candidates were on a blacklist meant to keep out candidates who retained ties to the defunct Ba’ath Party. In many cases, the accusations were not only false but actually ridiculous: Mutlaq himself was expelled from the party in 1977. Meanwhile, Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi denounced Ba’athist accusations as an attempt "to frighten the public and win votes." Because he criticized this blacklist, Hashimi was also accused of supporting the Ba’ath Party
Just a couple days after the Salah ad Din provincial building was reopened following a two-week-long lockdown ordered by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the army turned its attention to the council headquarters. Maliki ordered Chairman Ahmad Abdullah Abdulmawjoud be prevented from entering council chambers. The earlier lockdown was to prevent violence as the council attempted to force Gov. Muttashar Hussein Ilaiwi to step down. Charges of corruption have flown at both men.
A tribal clash left two dead and 11 wounded in Hayy. The dead were a woman and child.
In Mosul, a blast wounded a woman. Another blast wounded two civilians. Gunmen wounded a man but he may not have been the target. One person was killed and five were wounded during a blast in the evening.
Seven suspects were arrested in Dhi Qar province.
An al-Qaeda suspect was arrested in Falljah.
Plans have been made to allow about 5,000 displaced families in Kirkuk to vote in next month’s elections.
The Iranian consul, Adheem al-Husseini, complained during a press conference in Arbil that Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) rebels are using Iraqi Kurdistan as a launching pad for attacks on Iranian territory. The PJAK is an offshoot of the better-known Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Both groups advocate for an independent Kurdistan across Iraq, Iran and neighboring countries.