Baath party spokesman dismisses plan to ease ban on party members

A purported spokesman for Saddam Hussein's party Sunday dismissed draft legislation to ease the ban on party members from holding government jobs, saying his group would not deal with the Iraqi leadership until all US and foreign forces leave the country. Late Sunday, top Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders signed an agreement which among other things endorsed a draft bill to relax rules preventing many members of Saddam's Baath Party from holding government jobs and elected offices. The law is aimed at encouraging disaffected Sunni Arabs to support the Shi'ite-led government. Many Sunnis took arms against the US and its Iraqi allies after the fall of Saddam's government in the 2003 US-led invasion. But the Baath spokesman, identified as Abu Muhib al-Baghdadi, dismissed the proposed legislation, terming it a "trap." He spoke with the screen blacking out his face to to hide his features.