UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

IRAQ: UN envoy lays out plans for future election

BAGHDAD, 15 April 2004 (IRIN) - Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General, on Wednesday laid out a new plan for an interim government in Iraq as the volatile security situation continued to restrict movement around the country.

A "caretaker" government, to be formed in May, should be led by a prime minister, a president and two vice-presidents, Brahimi told reporters at a press conference inside the "green zone," a 2 km square compound, belonging to the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his elite Republican Guard.

A "consultative assembly" should be elected in July to serve alongside the caretaker government, Brahimi said. Such an assembly would be supported by an estimated two-thirds of the officials and representatives of Iraqi society whom Brahimi met on his visit, he said.

US President George W. Bush has said he will stand by the 30 June date to turn over sovereignty of the country to Iraqis.

A national election is scheduled to take place in January, Brahimi said. No election date or month had been previously set, although elections were to be held by January under an agreement signed by US administrators and the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council (IGC), a 25-member governing body.

"We believe that the present security situation makes it more important and more urgent for the political process to continue," Brahimi said. "There is no substitute for the legitimacy that comes from free and fair elections."

Security kept the Special Adviser from travelling around the country freely during the visit, which had largely been kept secret from the media. Brahimi said a UN electoral team was also currently in Baghdad preparing for January's poll.

"Naturally, the security situation has to improve significantly for these elections to take place in an acceptable environment," he said, adding that he hoped things would calm down once a new government is named to take over sovereignty.

According to the top official, the UN role in Iraq after 30 June had not been decided and he said that UN workers would not be able to assist an election if they were "locked up in the green zone,".

UN staff pulled out of Iraq following an August suicide bomb attack that killed 22 people, including the world body's special envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Brahimi also criticised US-led troops in Iraq for alledgedly detaining an estimated 8,000 people, often without charge or trial, saying they should be either charged or released. He expressed his "deep sorrow" for the death and destruction in and around Fallujah, where fierce fighting has killed an estimated 500 Iraqis.


Themes: (IRIN) Conflict, (IRIN) Governance



This material comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. All materials copyright © UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2004

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list