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4/27/04 - A TRANSITION IN IRAQ - 2004-04-27


On June 30th, the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq will dissolve and a government composed of Iraqis will take over the running of the country. Under a United Nations proposal, the interim government in Iraq will include many people with technical expertise.

Ahmed al-Rahim is a founding member of the American-Islamic Congress and a professor of Islamic and Arab Studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He says that the interim government will give political parties in Iraq time to develop their platforms and make their appeals to the Iraqi people:

“I think that’s what they need to do. They need to develop an agenda for the citizens to pick them on.... It seems pretty clear, at least based on reading the interim law, the constitution, that we will have some sort of three-man presidency, which will probably be made up of a Sunni, a Shiite, and a Kurd. But the power will really be in the prime ministership.”

Elections will be held for a national assembly that will write a new Iraqi constitution. U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that starting July 1st, the interim government will rule Iraq “under the provisions of the transitional law that’s already been passed”:

“They’re going to run Iraq with full authority over the ministries, and they’ll be running Iraq on a daily, day-to-day basis. They’ll have the tasks of providing for the people of Iraq and developing the country, and taking international responsibility for the country and the country’s wealth and the country’s money.”

Under the interim government, the U.S.-led coalition will continue to help Iraq establish security. But after sovereignty is restored on June 30th, Iraqis will be making decisions.

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