Jordan Approves 'Saddam' Electoral List after Name Change


Jordan's elections commission on Wednesday approved an electoral list that was initially forbidden from registering under the name "Saddam Hussein," after the group agreed to change its title, state media said.

"The list has been accepted after it changed its name to the 'Nation's Honour.' Now we have 61 approved lists" for legislative elections this month, commission spokesman Hussein Bani Hani told the official news agency Petra.

The commission gave its approval last Thursday to all candidates for the January 23 general election, except the Saddam Hussein list, saying it rejected "any name that could inflame sectarian, religious or racial enmity or affect national unity."

The list had filed an appeal against the decision.

"Amman's appeals court has upheld the commission's decision," Bani Hani said.

The group's leader Faiz Ziyadneh said on Sunday the list was named after one of its nine would-be candidates -- Saddam Hussein Wared al-Hawamdah -- but added it was also in memory of the hanged Iraqi leader.

He insisted the list, based in Mafraq province, north of Amman, was independent, saying it did "not belong to any party, least of all the Baath," the Arab nationalist party of Saddam.

More than 1,500 candidates, including 213 women, have been registered for the election, according to the commission.

Saddam Hussein was captured after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and hanged in 2006 after being convicted of crimes against humanity, including a 1982 massacre of civilians from Iraq's Shiite majority community.

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