The decision by the Accountability and Justice Commission to bar the leader of the National Dialogue Front, Saleh al-Mutlaq, from running in the upcoming national elections has precipitated a major political crisis.

His name is on the list of more than 500 politicians barred from running in the poll for suspected links to the banned Baath party of Saddam Hussein.

Al-Mutlaq has challenged the ban and is seeking justice through the courts. He has also accused the commission and the political force behind it of political connivance to derail his growing momentum.

Barack Obama, the US president, has dispatched Joe Biden, the US vice president, to lean on Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, to reverse the commission's decision. But only time will tell whether or not he will succeed in his mission.

Political observers have warned that if the decision is not reversed violence may erupt.

Saleh al-Mutlaq joins the show to discuss this.

This episode of Inside Iraq can be seen from Friday, January 22, at the following times GMT: Friday: 1730, 2230; Saturday: 0300, 0830; Sunday: 0600, 1230; Monday: 0130.

Source: Al Jazeera