Inside Iraq - Al-Maliki courts Baathists - 20 Mar 09 - Part 1

Al Jazeera English
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Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's latest call for reconciliation with members of the former regime came in the wake of his strong showing in the recent provincial elections.

He urged Iraqis to forgive those who worked - many by force - with Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. Those who did not commit crimes against civilians should be forgiven, he told his supporters.

Critics have pointed out that al-Maliki's offer is clearly related to his need for wider political support ahead of the parliamentary elections in December.

But the real question is how the call to include former Baathists into the political mainstream will impact Iraq's stability and political climate today.

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