Shiites Shout Down Iraqi Law

Bill to let Baathists in government gets shelved after uproar; Bush calls law vital
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2007 8:39 PM CST
Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mahmud al-Mashhadani speaks to journalists in this file photo. Al-Mashhadani ordered that a parliamentary session continue behind closed doors today after shouting erupted during...   (Getty Images )
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(Newser) – Iraqi lawmakers shouted down a bill today that would let members of Saddam's Baath party return to public posts, AFP reports. Shiite lawmakers heckled the first reading of the measure, which Bush has touted as a benchmark of Iraqi progress. Now the bill goes to a legal body for changes, Reuters reports. "This means it will take a long time," one source said.

Some Shiites said the bill—which would let Baathists join the civil service and military—must keep them from reaching high-ranking positions later on. Others complained that a legal committee hadn't vetted the bill first. "The law should have been presented properly so those objecting could not find a hole in the presentation," said a Kurdish lawmaker.