Provinces take ex-Baathists to Court

Abadi’s government has decided to decentralize the issue, which could be the key to resolving the de-Baathification issue in the long run. Every sector will deal with the Baathist file according to its circumstances and needs, so long as a time frame is not set.

Insisting on carrying out unified de-Baathification procedures throughout Iraq is not in line with the decentralization methodology announced by the government, as the government insists on applying decentralization as part of comprehensive political reforms.

The constitution bans and criminalizes any affiliation with or activity on behalf of the Baath Party. However, also according to the constitution, former Baathists are not to be dealt with as individuals. Every Baathist must be held responsible for his actions. The perpetrator of a crime must be prosecuted by the courts, and the innocent individual can carry on a normal life.

By turning the constitution into a unified mechanism, a comprehensive law will put forth the general guidelines on how to prevent the Baath Party from engaging in politics or infiltrating the political process.

As for dealing with individual Baathists, governorates and provinces can do so in accordance with the decentralized powers granted to them. Governorates such as Najaf, Erbil, Karbala or Dhi Qar — which have suffered tremendously at the hands of the Baath Party — have the right to be more rigid in dealing with ex-Baathists.

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