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9/29/03 - DIFFERENT GOVERNANCE IN IRAQ - 2003-09-30

The people of Iraq, now free of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship, are taking charge of their own lives.

There is already local self-government in the country. Municipal councils are operating in all major cities and in most Iraqi towns. And a national government is being formed. A twenty-five member national governing council is creating a commission to write a new Iraqi constitution. After the constitution is approved, elections will be held leading to a sovereign Iraqi government.

As President George W. Bush said, the governing council and their newly-appointed ministers are trying to reform the corrupt system left by Saddam's Baath Party:

"The system they inherited was not conducive for taking care of the citizens. The infrastructure was old and tired, power was centralized. Really, they inherited a system of a corrupt tyrant. And their job now is to improve life."

Iraq's newly-appointed public works minister is Nesreen Berwari. She said the governing council is giving hope to the Iraqi people: "This has been the most significant move. Forming the government and Iraqis taking care of their own affairs has been received very well by the Iraqi people. A sense of progress is being sensed in the streets of Iraq."

Ms. Berwari said a great deal has been accomplished in a very short time in Iraq, and more improvements are on the way:

"We have great plans to improve services. Our mission is to show a different governance. We want to tell the Iraqis that the change that has happened four months ago is for their own benefit, through improving the public service. But also investing on Iraq that can become an asset to itself and to the rest of the world, an Iraq that can add values of peace and prosperity to itself, to the region and to the rest of the world -- a working Iraq is in the best interests of everybody."

As President Bush said, "Iraq is on an irreversible course toward self-government and peace.”