The execution of Chemical Ali (Ali Hassan al-Majeed), scheduled for Tuesday, has been delayed as a result of legal wrangling over who should sign the order.
Ali Hassan al-Majeed was convicted in June of planning and directing the Anfal military campaign in 1988, in which prosecutors said up to 180,000 Kurds were killed and which the trial court later ruled was an act of genocide.
The issue revolves around whether Iraq's presidency council needs to issue a decree authorising the execution, or if Maliki's government can set the date.
The council consisting of President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, Vice-President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a Shi'ite, and Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi, a Sunni Arab is reportedly split as to whether the execution should take place.
It is reported that Hashemi has refused to sign the execution order.
The Iraqi government has formed a committee to review the mechanism of carrying out death sentences issued by the Iraqi High Tribunal.
The committee will meet during the coming fortnight, and Majeed would not be executed until it gave its report.
When Charles I was executed by Cromwell, Cromwell made sure that all members of the new government signed the order for the execution and that it was not done in a dark corner. The Iraqi government would do well to take a lesson from Cromwell.