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Iraq debaathification chief vows to oppose draft law rehabilitating Baathists

[JURIST] The Shiite head of Iraq's Debaathification Commission [official website] said Friday he would fight a proposed law [JURIST report] allowing former Baath party [BBC backgrounder] members to return to their previously held government positions. Despite provisions in the proposal that would prevent reemployment of former Baathists who have been charged with, or are sought for, criminal activities, Shiite leaders oppose the draft law [JURIST report] as being a "dangerous" undertaking to return former regime members to leadership positions in the government.

In an interview with US-funded Radio Sawa [media website], Falah Hassan Shanshal said: "The reconciliation draft law includes many legal and constitutional violations. We can even say that it is a coup that will bring members of the fascist, Saddamist Baath to power without any justification. Everyone has agreed to stand against it, not only the Sadrist bloc." Supporters of the draft measure are looking for a way to reinstate [JURIST report] former Baath party members who say they joined due to professional reasons since Hussein only allowed university enrollment, career progression and specialized medical aide to those who were members of his party. AP has more.

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