Zebari: the court's ruling is "politicized".. I am the KDP's sole candidate 

Zebari: the court's ruling is "politicized".. I am the KDP's sole candidate 

Shafaq News/ Disqualified presidential candidate Hoshyar Zebari on Sunday said he will commit to the Supreme Federal Court's ruling even though he believes it is "politicized".

Iraq's Supreme Federal Court has ruled that the former foreign minister is not eligible to run for the presidency in the wake of corruption allegations linked to his name.

In a press conference at his residence in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, Zebari said, "we were surprised by the court's decision, but we respect it."

"As a citizen, I have the right to run for the post," he added, "There is deceit and injustice toward me, but life does not end here. It is a sad day to Iraq."

Zebari asserted that the court's decision to preclude him from his "Constitutional" right to run for the presidency was "politicized". 

When asked about the substitute candidate for the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), he said, "Hoshyar Zebari is the only candidate the Party has named."

"The greatest honor for me was being named by President Masoud Barzani," he told Shafaq News Agency correspondent, "they do not want a strong experienced president. They only sought to hinder us from reaching the parliament hall."

"They impeded the political process to ensure that Zebari does not make it to the parliament," he continued, "the party does not have a candidate after the court ruled me eligible."

Zebari, a prominent Kurdish politician who served as Iraq's foreign minister for over a decade, was finance minister when he was impeached and dismissed by parliament in 2016 over alleged corruption. He denied the accusations and said they are politically motivated.

The court on Sunday said parliament's decision to accept Zebari's presidential bid was incorrect and it also barred him from running for the post in the future.

The ruling was the court's final decision after it issued an initial ruling last Sunday suspending Zebari's candidacy while it looked into the corruption allegations. 

Earlier this month, four parliamentarians filed a petition to the federal court demanding Zebari's exclusion from the presidential race, accusing him of financial and administrative corruption.

Zebari, who was one of 25 presidential candidates, was a main contender to the post before the corruption allegations surfaced again.

Iraq's parliament had been due to vote on a new head of state last Monday but canceled the vote because it lacked the quorum to hold a session after many lawmakers said they would boycott it after the Supreme Federal Court suspended Zebari's candidacy.

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