Skip to comments.U.S.-Picked Iraqi Council Wants to Stay
Posted on 05/08/2004 10:57:20 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -
An expanded Governing Council should appoint and oversee the work of a caretaker government due to take over from the U.S.-led occupation June 30, the U.S.-picked body said Saturday.
The statement by the council was the clearest sign yet of significant differences between the Iraqi administration and U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi over the best way to establish a transitional government to take power June 30 until elections the following January.
Brahimi, who arrived Thursday to help set up the new government, had proposed an administration with limited powers and made up of Iraqis without ties to established parties. Brhaimi's plan would eliminate key members of the 25-member council.
Several council members have privately said that the body was divided over the best way forward, pointing out that those who wished to see the council still in existence beyond June 30 represented one of several factions.
Last month, Brahimi proposed dissolving the council and naming a caretaker government of "men and women known for their honesty, integrity and competence" to serve from June 30, when limited sovereignty will be restored to Iraqis, until a general election held by Jan. 31. He also suggested a prime minister, a president and two vice presidents be appointed.
He suggested that the incoming government should have limited a mandate since it will only be in office for up to seven months.
Brahimi also gave the impression that a proportionate representation of major political parties in the government was not a high priority, but several Governing Council members have made clear that they don't want a weak government.
"The council believes that any future government must enjoy wide popular support so it can run the nation's affairs at this crucial stage of its history," said the council statement in a thinly veiled reference to the need for representation of political parties. "It must also be efficient, honest and has political capability."
Since declaring his proposals last month, Brahimi has been accused in Iraq of favoring the country's Sunni Arab minority - he is a Sunni himself - and of being too close to Washington. Politicians from Iraq's Shiite majority, like Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi, have led criticism of Brahimi's ideas.
Others have stressed that his role was consultative and his proposals nonbinding.
"There is wide opposition to the Brahimi plan in Iraq," Chalabi's spokesman Entifadh Qanbar told reporters in New York on Friday. "The whole idea of having the U.N. or any foreign entity to appoint or lead a political process in Iraq is not acceptable," said Qanbar, He labeled Brahimi an "Arab nationalist" who once supported ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.
Some of this criticism is believed motivated by fears that the political careers of council members like Chalabi will end with the demise of the council. The council is widely unpopular as too closely associated with the occupation and because many of its members have no popular support to speak of.
On second thoughts, this is bad... without consensus, there will still be "it's imposed" mentality. On balance, we are better off evolving the IGC than disbanding it. Why not expand the IGC and have the IGC be the body to appoint the President and Prime Minister etc.? And let the IGC remain as a consultative body.
And a UN representative will recognize these qualities how?
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