Jordan’s electoral commission has refused to register an independent list of candidates calling itself “Saddam Hussein” after the executed Iraqi dictator, the group’s leader said on Sunday.
“We have filed an appeal against the electoral commission’s rejection of our Saddam Hussein list,” Faiz Ziyadneh told AFP.
The commission gave its approval on Thursday to all would-be candidates for a general election called for January 23, except the Saddam Hussein list, “because it is the name of an individual,” the state Petra news agency reported.
The commission said it rejected “any name that could inflame sectarian, religious or racial enmity or affect national unity.”
Ziyadneh condemned the commission’s decision, saying it had “no legal basis” and that “electoral law does not stipulate any restrictions on the name of a list.”
Ziyadneh said the list was named after one of the group’s nine would-be candidates — Saddam Hussein Wared al-Hawamdah — but added it was also in memory of the hanged Iraqi leader.
He stressed the list, based in Mafraq province, north of Amman, was an independent list that did “not belong to any party, least of all the Baath,” the Arab nationalist party of Saddam.
Amman’s appeals court will decide within three days whether Ziyadneh’s list will be allowed to be named “Saddam Hussein,” he said.
If the court upholds the commission’s decision, “(another) name will be decided on at a meeting of the list’s members, and we might not stand in the election,” Ziyadneh added.
More than 1,500 candidates, including 213 women, have been registered for the election, the commission said last Monday.
Saddam Hussein was captured after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and hanged in 2006 after being convicted of crimes against humanity, including a 1982 massacre of civilians from Iraq’s Shiite majority community.