FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O WAS CAUGHT EYE BALLING QUEEN MAXIMA OF HOLLAND.
AN INDIGNANT BARRY O DENIED ANY SEXUAL INTEREST IN THE QUEEN WHEN QUESTIONED EARLY THIS MORNING BY THESE REPORTERS.
"EVERYONE KNOWS MY HEART BELONGS TO REGGIE LOVE!" BARRY O INSISTED. "I DID NOTICE THE QUEEN'S BLOND HIGHLIGHTS AND STUDIED THEM BECAUSE I'VE BEEN TOYING WITH SOME STREAKS OF MY OWN."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Anadolu Agency reports a bombing targeted 3 Iraqi MPs. 3 bodyguards were killed in the bombing with another four wounded; however MPs Raad al-Dahlaki, Mohamed al-Khaldi and Abd al-Jabouri all three survived. All are members of Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi's Motahedoum coaltion. All three had planned to run in the upcoming elections; however, in a sign of the state of Iraq, surviving an assassination attempt doesn't mean you've now survived the last obstacle.
They were luckier than others today. National Iraqi News Agency reports Ghaidaa Hussein Khader was shot dead in Mosul (she belonged to the Alfadheelah Party).
But while Iraq is set to hold parliamentary elections on April 30th, that may not happen. Despite the assurances Sarbast Mustafa (head of the Independent High Electoral Commission's board) offered to All Iraq News yesterday that elections would take palce and be held "in every area in Iraq" and that "It is difficult to set a new mechanism to postpone the next elections in any area of Iraq including Anbar," those statements are now in doubt.
Today, AFP reports, "All of Iraq’s election commissioners presented their resignations to parliament Tuesday in a collective protest over political and judicial 'interference' in upcoming legislative polls, sources have said." What sort of interference? An attempt to strip them of their powers via a little noticed clause in a bill Nouri's Cabinet wrote and Parliament passed into law. BBC explains:
A clause approved last year allows for the exclusion of candidates considered not "of good reputation".
Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, who is seeking a third term, has been accused of using the law to prevent his political enemies from standing.
Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) provides context, "IHEC’s complaints roughly mirror those of the last election, that the Maliki government is trying to use the electoral law’s ban on candidates of “ill repute” to ban potential rivals en masse." AFP's Prashant Rao Tweets:
Five weeks before legislative polls, Iraq's election commission has resigned. This country is astounding.
Al Mada reports that the Dawa Party was specifically accused of exploiting the judiciary to settle scores with political rivals. Dawa, for those who don't know, is Nouri's political party, State of Law is his coalition. Al Mada notes that the commission felt wrongly accused of bowing to Nouri's wishes to dismiss his political opponents, especially when the decisions were coming from the Baghdad judiciary.
In a statement the IHEC posted to their website, they insist the move was due to a need to protect the IHEC's integrity and that they await the approval of their resignations. Raheem Salman and Robin Pomeroy (Reuters) observe, "IHEC's sudden move further complicates the outlook for a vote already clouded by violence across the country where Sunni Islamist militants have regained momentum over the past year."
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