Chalabi: U.S. interfering in Iraq elections

February 16, 2010 - 0:0

Head of Iraq's Accountability and Justice Commission says the U.S. interferes in the war-torn country's electoral process.

Ahmed Chalabi has accused Washington of putting pressure on the commission in charge of vetting the candidates.
He attended a news conference on Sunday and condemned the U.S. intervention in Iraqi affairs, Press TV correspondent in Baghdad reported.
“The appeal committee was publicly submitted to the pressure of foreign groups, like (U.S.) Vice President Biden who said when he was in Iraq that he hoped Iraqi justice will dissolve the committee of integrity and accountability,” said Chalabi.
“Or when the American ambassador in Baghdad expressed his wish that the Iraqi justice system will solve an inconvenient matter -- the issue of the 500 candidates,” AFP quoted him as saying.
His remarks follow a decision by an appellate court to ban 145 candidates from participating in parliamentary elections, expected on March 7, over ties to Iraq's former Dictator Saddam Hussein's Baath party.
The appeals panel reinstated only 26 of the 171 candidates, who appealed their disqualification.
The committee had barred 500 candidates from participation in election over 'ties with Saddam Hussein's political and military apparatus.' But an appellate court reduced the number of banned candidates to 145.
Amid the dispute last month, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden paid a visit to Baghdad. His visit was aimed at persuading Iraqi officials to reverse the ban on candidates with links to the Baath party, according to Chalabi.
(Source: Press TV)
Photo: Ahmed Chalabi addresses press conference in Baghdad, Feb. 14, 2010. (AP photo)