However, according to him, the alliance between Sunnis and Shiites was not easy to form. Voting on the law, which was passed by a majority of 288 out of 328 present parliament members, had been postponed several times following the overthrow of the Baath regime as disagreements about it dragged on.
Amer Habib, a professor at the Faculty of Agriculture in the University of Babil who had two brothers executed at the hands of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 1991, told Al-Monitor, “The de-Baathification law will allow the judicial authorities to hold Baathists accountable for their crimes.” To him, justice was served when the law was voted in.
The political forces within the Shiite National Alliance also expressed relief and satisfaction over the passing of the law, according to Hashem al-Mousawi, a parliament member for the Al-Muwatin bloc.
“The law goes beyond Articles 200 and 210 of the Iraqi Penal Code, which provide for banning any ‘erroneous’ activities and which were used by Saddam’s regime to ban religious events, especially the Shiite ones such as the Husseini rituals or any other cultural or political activities against the regime,” Mousawi told Al-Monitor. He believes that the “law has ended the debate between Sunni and Shiite politicians on the subject.”