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[casi-analysis] election disqualifications

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While we're waiting to see the interim constitution (has anybody found a
copy yet?), the text below may be of interest. It's from CPA order 62,
passed on Monday, which provides for disqualification of electoral
candidates deemed inappropriate by the CPA. I can understand (though not
agree with) the case for eliminating some candidates on the grounds of,
say, extreme corruption or criminality. But this law is particularly
worrying because:

i) removal of candidates is done by Bremer, without the need for
consultation (except that the debaathification council decides who is a
baathist) or transparency (barring a vague provision that "to the extent
practicable, consistent with the CPA's responsibilities and authorities,
teh Administrator should inform the public of his determinations and teh
bases for them")

ii) The CPA is under no obligation to impose these laws uniformly. In
other words, any candidate can stand if he/she is popular with the powers
that be.

iii) the criteria for disqualification are so loose that they can easily
be manipulated to remove candidates on the basis of preference.
Elimination of candidates linked to genocide, etc. only requires that they
be 'reasonably suspected' of crimes, Bremer can also remove anyone who
"Has publicly espoused political philosophies or legal doctrines contrary
to the domestic order and rule of law being established in Iraq."

How this connects with the interim constitution I don't know. I assume
there's some connection, but the order seems to have been drafted on
Thursday, and the climax of constitutional negotiations didn't come until
the weekend. It explicitly expires with the dismemberment of the CPA, but
could well be renewed by the future goverment. Before the transfer of
power, it could only apply to various local elections, either to remove or
simply to intimidate candidates.

Comments? Am I taking this too seriously?

extract from CPA order 62:

1) When determined necessary for security and public order within Iraq,
the Administrator of the CPA may disqualify an individual from
participating in an election as a candidate for, or accepting a nomination
to, or holding public office, at any level, if that individual:

a) Has engaged in, ordered, or publicly incited violence against Coalition
Forces or CPA personnnel;
b) Was a full member of the Ba'ath Party [of certain ranks];
c) Is an agent of a foreign government;
d) Has been convicted of a serious offense;
e) Is reasonably suspected of having committed, participated in, ordered,
or permitted war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, atrocities, or
gross violations of human rights; or
f) Has publicly espoused political philosophies or legal doctrines
contrary to the domestic order and rule of law being established in

Daniel O'Huiginn
07745 192426
01223 704075
M13, Queens College

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