Mon Feb 8, 8:02 am ET
BAGHDAD – Iraq's prime minister says he accepts an appeals panel's jurisdiction over a ban on candidates from March 7 parliamentary elections for their suspected ties to Saddam Hussein's regime.
The seven-member panel is combing through a list of candidates barred from the election.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had pushed for the ban, and his decision Monday to leave the candidates' appeals in the court rather than let parliament rule on the issue in an emergency session is seen as a concession.
The issue has threatened to hurt the credibility of a vote officials hope could be a milestone in the country's democratic evolution.
The ban initially affected about 450 candidates, but most were replaced by their parties or dropped out.