Jack Healy
New York Times
December 18, 2010

BAGHDAD — Iraq moved one step closer to finally forming a government on Saturday as lawmakers overturned a contentious decision banning three prominent Sunni Arabs from national politics.

The vote in Parliament helped to resolve a furor that erupted nearly a year ago, after an Iraqi panel sought to disqualify hundreds of Sunni candidates from elections because of their alleged ties to Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party.

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The disqualifications set off angry demonstrations and accusations that threatened to further marginalize Iraq’s Sunni minority and undermine efforts to form a government that folded in all of Iraq’s ethnic and sectarian factions.

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