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Iraqi Parliament Approves Saddam Hussein for Another Term - 2002-08-19

Iraq's parliament has approved the candidacy of President Saddam Hussein to another seven-year term as the country's leader. The Iraqi parliament met Monday to rubber-stamp Saddam Hussein's candidacy after the Revolution Command Council nominated him last Thursday.

Under the Iraqi constitution, the command council puts forward a candidate for the presidency who is then approved by the 250 member parliament and a popular referendum. The referendum is planned in October, with Saddam Hussein as the only candidate.

The first such referendum was held in 1995, in which the Iraqi leader won with more than 99 percent of the vote. Saddam Hussein has been president of Iraq since 1979.

The general secretary of Iraq's parliament, Ghaled Jassem, was quoted as saying the meeting of the parliament "embodies the democratic path established by President Saddam Hussein. He said "this continues despite the threats of the evil U.S. administration, godfather of terrorism, to carry out a new attack against Iraq."

U.S. officials have been openly discussing the possibility of military action against Iraq to topple the government of Saddam Hussein for allegedly developing weapons of mass destruction.