Former Iraqi foreign minister: Interim government council to be announced soon
The former Iraqi foreign minister - Adnan al Pachachi - told Al Bawaba Tuesday that the final ‘picture’ of the proposed interim Iraqi council has not so far been sized up. The council is supposed to lead the country until presidential and legislative elections are organized.
Pachachi, the last Iraqi foreign minister before the Baath party toppled the royal regime in 1958, attributed the delay in announcing the beginning of the formation of the council to the lack of coordination between the US civil administrator of Iraq - Paul Bremer - and the political Iraqi groups and parties.
For his part, Bremer had begun to put the last touches on the final ‘look’ of the proposed interim council in a bid to hand the power over to the Iraqis to run their own country. However, Bremer has reserved his right to have the final word on any decision that might be taken by the council. The new council will have a more executive role than a consultative one following pressure by the UN.
In early June 2003, Bremer proposed to form a political council comprising of 25-30 members by mid July 2003. He suggested the council offer a ‘consultative role’ on political and economic issues while the country prepares for a referendum on Iraq’s new constitution and national elections.
According to Pachachi, it seems as though the proposed council will be dominated by the Shiite Muslims occupying most of the seats, while the council will mostly include members from previous opposition groups.
However, Pachachi declined to mention any names that might be in the council reiterating, “Things are so far unclear.”
The formation of the council seems to be one of the thorniest issues amongst the Shiites, who are demanding a leading role, while the Sunni Muslims have expressed concern over the possibility of a religious government taking control of Iraq - similar to the radical regime in Tehran.
As Pachachi sees it, there will be no problem in forming the council. “We are all Iraqis and will work towards serving our country whether we are Shiite, Sunnis or Kurds,” he told Al Bawaba.
The Shiite Muslims constitute the majority of the 24 million Iraqis, however he believes that the Sunni and Kurd minorities will secure equal seats in the council.
Pachachi concluded by saying “there is popular demand by the Iraqis to form a transitional government with wide authorities and responsibilities.” He pointed out that “one of the transitional government’s proposed responsibility would be to prepare for the new constitution and organize national elections that are expected to be recognized internationally…so that the role of the coalition forces in the country will come to an end.”
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