New blow to Iraq election credibility

The National reports:

Any lingering hope that Iraq can hold a credible and peaceful election suffered a further blow yesterday when the leading secular nationalist bloc suspended its participation.

The Iraqiya list, led by the former president Ayad Allawi, announced a three-day halt to its campaign after an appeals court upheld an exclusion order preventing Saleh al Mutlaq and Dhafer al Ani, two of its senior candidates, from standing on the grounds that they were pro-Baathist.

Iraqiya leaders called for an urgent meeting with the president, Jalal Talabani, the prime minister, Nouri al Maliki, and the parliament speaker, Ayad al Samarrae, to “examine the means of creating the best climate for the elections”.

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