Iraq: Many Iraqis Say Governing Council Should Be Disbanded Next Summer
By Valentinas Mite
Members of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council are hinting the body should continue functioning after a provisional government is put in place next summer. They say the council could become a second legislative body with its own supervisory powers. Many Iraqis disagree and say the council should be dissolved.
Baghdad, 3 December 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Heydar, a computer engineer in his 30s, sees no place for the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council after a provisional government is put in place next summer.
Heydar says the politicians on the council should supervise their own political parties, not new provisional bodies. "It's most preferable that the members of the [Iraqi] Governing Council go and head their own parties. And if they want to stay in the government, let them nominate themselves for the provisional parliament. And if they find somebody to support them, they will get the positions they deserve," Heydar said.
Heydar says only a few members of the council -- politicians representing major Kurdish and Shi'a political parties, such as Dawa or the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq -- are known in the country. Others, he says, "came from nowhere."
"On what basis can they supervise the work of provisional bodies?" says Heydar.
Heydar says the Iraqi Governing Council has not earned its authority. "They did not manage to do simple things, such as put an end to traffic jams in Baghdad, not to mention other, more important things. My personal opinion is that they are just thirsty for power, and it is not acceptable."
Akhmed, a doctor in his 40s, says he cannot support the idea of prolonging the authority of the council after a provisional government is appointed.
"[Council members are] appointed. Nobody voted for them. I mean, they were just put there. When a true legitimate government is in place, I don't see any reason for them to stay. Will they be more powerful than the new government -- another 'big brother'? I don't think it's a very good idea. I wouldn't like that," Akhmed said.
Akhmed says politicians shouldn't be in power in Iraq only because someone appointed them.
Lawyer Mustakh Aldayni says nobody in Iraq believes the council should continue working after a provisional government is put in place. He says members of the council publicly pledged they would leave their jobs:
"Certainly, the Governing Council will have no role when a provisional government is elected. That's what they declared. They said, 'Our role will be finished as soon as the provisional government will be in place,' " Aldayni said.
He says if the members of the council want to continue their political careers, they must be elected to parliament or be appointed by an elected body.
"Nobody will support them only because they say they will continue their work as some kind of self-imposed supervising body," Aldayni said.
An engineer, Mehdi al-Juburi, says it would be undemocratic for the members of the council to declare themselves a supervising body and impose themselves on new provisional bodies.
"Let them win the elections and take part in real politics," says al-Juburi. From the legal point of view, he says, the council should be dissolved: "Yes, after the provisional government is elected, they need to be dissolved. The majority of people in the meantime do not support them."
However, al-Juburi says the members of the council have little chance to win any future elections because "they gave nothing to the people."
"Until now," he says, "we don't have enough kerosene, natural gas, or electricity. Prices are rising, unemployment exists. After they came to power, they did nothing to alleviate the suffering of the people."
He says the members of the council probably understand that, which explains why "they want to secure their future by prolonging their own existence."
Copyright (c) 2003. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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