( dpa ) - The Iraqi parliament on Saturday passed a law allowing the return of functionaries of the Baath party of former dictator Saddam Hussein to public life.
The measure passed by a large majority of the only 140 parliamentarians present, said Rashid al-Azzawi of the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF) to the Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
With the implementation of the so-called Responsibility and Justice Law, around 30,000 former functionaries and members of the Baath party can enter public office and the security forces. In addition, their pensions claims would be met.
Baath party members that committed crimes against the Iraqi people or enriched illegally themselves on the country's wealth would remain under the ban.
The United States government had called for the rehabilitation of the predominantly Sunni Baath party members as an act of national reconciliation.
After the overthrow of the Saddam regime in 2003, the party was banned by US civil administrator for Iraq Paul Bremer, and its members removed from state offices. dpa fi mga