Tags: Iraq | party | elections | officers

Iraq Restores 20,000 Saddam Officers

Friday, 26 Feb 2010 11:12 AM

Days ahead of national elections, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has announced plans to rehire 20,000 former Iraqi army officers who served under former leader Saddam Hussein.

The officers will be reinstated into the new Iraqi army, said an official with the ministry of defense.

The move garnered criticism as being a political ploy and was surprising in some circles after al-Maliki's campaign rhetoric against Hussein's Baath Party.

Several candidates who planned to stand in the upcoming election have been banned by the country's Accountability and Justice Commission because of evidence of them "glorifying" the Baath Party.

Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman said al-Maliki was simply trying to secure more votes.

"This contradicts his anti-Baathist election campaign and it is very obvious that he wants to appeal to voters."

A few weeks after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, top U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer dissolved Baathist institutions, including the Iraqi army, that were viewed as threats against building a new Iraqi society.

The Baath Party was declared illegal and many Sunni Arabs lost their government jobs.

As a result, the Sunni Arab community became disenfranchised -- many embraced the rising insurgency and stayed away from the first elections in 2005.

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Days ahead of national elections, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has announced plans to rehire 20,000 former Iraqi army officers who served under former leader Saddam Hussein.
Iraq,party,elections,officers
207
2010-12-26
Friday, 26 Feb 2010 11:12 AM
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