Iraq to reinstate 20,000 former Hussein army officers

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Days ahead of national elections, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has announced plans to rehire 20,000 former Iraqi army officers who served under former leader Saddam Hussein.

The officers will be reinstated into the new Iraqi army, said an official with the ministry of defense.

The move garnered criticism as being a political ploy and was surprising in some circles after al-Maliki's campaign rhetoric against Hussein's Baath Party.

Several candidates who planned to stand in the upcoming election have been banned by the country's Accountability and Justice Commission because of evidence of them "glorifying" the Baath Party.

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