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Iraq cabinet unveils sweeping reform of Saddam law

Iraq's cabinet unveiled sweeping reforms to a law barring members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party from public life on Sunday, in a bid to head off months of rallies by the country's Sunni Arab minority. The amendment to a De-Baathification law still need to be approved by parliament but if implemented would mark a key concession to demonstrators in Iraq's north and west who have alleged the current rules promote unfair targeting of their community by the Shiite-led authorities.

Insecurity could hit Iraq provincial poll: election official

Security concerns sparked by anti-government rallies in mostly-Sunni areas of Iraq in recent weeks could hamper provincial polls due in April, a top election official said on Wednesday. Muqdad al-Sharifi, the chief electoral officer of Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), also told reporters that 131 candidates had been barred from the April 20 vote due to their ties to the Baath Party of now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein.
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