Iraqis Accuse Maliki of Dictatorship After Arrest of Top Election Official

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Iraqi leaders from across the political spectrum are accusing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of seeking to rig the country’s electoral system after he arrested the official in charge of administering elections.

Maliki, increasingly denounced by Iraqi voices of all stripes as a ruthless dictator, seems to have taken to arresting anybody he disagrees with, including his own vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi.

Now, the top elections official, Faraj al-Haidari, and another election commissioner, Kareem al-Tamimi, are jailed inside the Salhayah police station in Baghdad on charges of corruption, despite a court ruling in their favor two months ago.

The arrest of Haidari “is undemocratic and illegal,” said Muaid al-Tayab, a member of parliament. “We call it political revenge.”

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