Iraq Elects New Olympic Committee

The head of Iraq's new Olympic committee says he hopes the panel can erase "the painful past."

A new national Olympic committee was elected today to replace the one that was headed by Saddam Hussein's son Odai who was accused of brutalizing athletes.

The election is a first step toward letting Iraqi athletes compete in the Summer Olympics. The International Olympic Committee had suspended the previous Iraqi committee after Saddam's regime was toppled.

The Iraqis failed to elect a woman to the new committee's executive board, despite I.O.C. guidelines that strongly encourage having a female member.

One woman stepped aside after she and a male candidate each got the same number of votes for the final place on the five-member executive board.

Officials say they'll meet soon to resolve the issue.

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