Iraq is now being run by a democratically elected government. Iraq's new leaders were chosen after intense debate by the two-hundred-seventy-five members of Iraq's transitional national assembly. Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari was the first to take the oath of office:
"I will perform my duties and responsibilities diligently, honestly, and I swear also to protect the independence and sovereignty of Iraq."
U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says the swearing-in of the Iraqi government is "a major step":
"Iraq has continued to take vital steps to move forward in the political process. This is the first time in generations that Iraq has a democratically elected government in place and on the job."
The Iraqi cabinet includes sixteen Shiites, nine Iraqi Kurds, four Sunnis, and one Christian. Seven cabinet members, including the heads of the key oil, electricity, and defense ministries, will be named later. Mr. Boucher says that while a lot has been achieved in Iraq, "There's a lot more that has to be done":
"Prime Minister Jafari. . . .has made a mmitment to fill the vacant seats as soon as possible. These are important positions and we look forward to his appointing permanent ministers. We also expect the dialogue and the discussion to continue in Iraq. We look forward to a government that's as pluralistic and representative as possible of the people of Iraq."
Now that the new Iraqi government is mostly in place, the transitional national assembly will turn its attention to drafting a constitution to be approved by the Iraqi people. State Department spokesman Boucher says that the U.S. remains committed to supporting Iraq's efforts "to ensure democracy, prosperity, security, and the rule of law."
The preceeding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government.