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Shoe-throwing reporter will contest Iraqi parliamentary vote

IRAQI journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who was jailed after throwing his shoes at then US president George W Bush, has announced he is standing in forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Mr al-Zaidi is a candidate on the Sa’eroun list, a political alliance of six parties vowing to end corruption in Iraq.

He came to international attention after his shoes narrowly missed Mr Bush during a 2008 Baghdad press conference as he shouted: “This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog.”

He was allegedly tortured while in custody and served nine months of a three-year sentence for assaulting a foreign head of state during an official visit.

Mr Zaidi, who returned from Beirut two months ago to stand in the elections, claims to be independent of political parties and neighbouring countries.

“For the past 10 years I have been supporting the oppressed … against the oppressors. I have been fighting for the poor and disadvantaged and will continue to do so,” he said.

Nearly 7,000 candidates are competing for 329 seats in the elections, which are due on May 12.

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