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Cablegate: Wasit,S Provincial Council Moves to Oust

VZCZCXRO5240
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDH RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0410 0471426
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161426Z FEB 10 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6647

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 000410

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (CAPTION ADDED)

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL PTER IZ
SUBJECT: WASIT,S PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MOVES TO OUST
EX-BA,ATHISTS

REF: A. BAGHDAD 285
B. BAGHDAD 296
C. BAGHDAD 338

1. (SBU) Summary and Comment: Wasit,s Provincial Council
(PC) passed a unanimous resolution on February 10 to dismiss
former Ba,athists from provincial and national ministry
government jobs unless they publicly renounce their former
affiliation. It is unclear if the resolution is
constitutional or how it might actually be enforced.
Significantly, even secular and moderate PC members appear to
have supported the measure. Deputy PC Chairman Majid Ali
Jabber (Da,wa) complained to PRToffs about former Ba,ath
members re-entering government service, and questioned the
U.S. role in supporting Ba,athists in the current
deliberation over CoR candidate disqualifications. PRT Team
Leader clarified that the United States strongly opposes the
Ba,ath, and did not interfere in Iraqi political and
judicial decisions regarding de-Ba,athification. He
emphasized that the Iraq citizens, including candidates, have
a right to due process under Iraqi law, and that the Unites
States urged that a transparent de-Ba,ath process be put
into place. End Summary and Comment.

2. (SBU) PRToffs met with Wasit PC Deputy Chairman Majid Ali
Jabber (Da,wa) on Feb. 11 in al-Kut. Jabber addressed a
unanimous resolution which the PC had passed the previous
day, which the local press described as &banning8 former
Ba,athists from government jobs in Wasit. According to
Jabber, the resolution called for all former members of the
Ba,ath party who worked (or sought) government jobs to
denounce the Ba,ath and their membership therein, and to
turn in any weapons they possessed. The resolution applied
to both provincial employees and employees of the provincial
offices of national ministries. Employees who satisfied
these conditions could retain their jobs. The resolution,s
final provision called for &command or division-level8
Ba,athists to be referred to the National-Level Committee of
Justice and Accountability for investigation.
3. (SBU) Jabber did not clarify the provision,s
constitutionality and how (or if) it would actually be
enforced. In the wake of the de-Ba,athification exclusion
order by the parliamentary Accountability and Justice
Commission (AJC) (refs A-C), PC members may feel under
pressure from their parties and supporters in this Shi,a
stronghold to bolster their anti-Ba,ath bona fides with
moves of this type. Jabber argued that many former
Ba-athists had re-entered government service and it was up to
provincial authorities to take a stand against this.
(COMMENT: PRT was struck by the apparent support for the
measure by secular PC members, including members of the
Iraqiyya coalition, which was disproportionately affected by
the parliamentary AJC,s de-Ba,athification exclusion order.
END COMMENT.)
4. (SBU) The PC Deputy also remarked on anti-Ba,ath
demonstrations in the provincial capital, al-Kut, on February
10, and lamented that the United States appeared to support
the reinstatement of former Ba,athist CoR candidates. The
PRT Team Leader corrected him, noting that despite inaccurate
media reports, the U.S. did not support former Ba,athists
and was not lobbying for their reinstatement as candidates.
He emphasized U.S. support for the independence of Iraqi
political and judicial institutions and clarified that the
United States had not intervened to influence the AJC or the
Cassation Chamber in any way. The TL also noted the concern
of the UN and the United States that whatever processes were
put in place be as transparent and fair as possible, and that
Qput in place be as transparent and fair as possible, and that
progress toward reconciliation not stall. Jabber seemed
readily mollified and thanked the PRToffs for clarification
of the U.S. position.
FORD

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