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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Brahimi consults Iraqi leaders on transitional government

25 May 2004 Lakhdar Brahimi, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Adviser, today continued consulting leaders in Iraqi on who would represent the country's people in a transitional government set to assume power after 30 June.

Among other meetings today, Mr. Brahimi held discussions with Sadoun al-Dulame, the head of the Iraqi Centre for Research and Strategic Studies, which does opinion polls in Iraq. They discussed public attitudes on a variety of subjects based on the Centre's findings.

In New York, the Secretary-General voiced hope that it would be possible to reach the target date of 31 May for making an announcement on plans for the transition.

In comments to the press, he also said the draft resolution on Iraq under discussion in the Security Council would be subject to further amendments and clarifications, and voiced satisfaction that the text qualified that activities in Iraq should be carried out "circumstances permitting."

In another development, Carina Perelli, head of the UN electoral team in Iraq, has announced the international members of a panel vetting candidates for Iraq's new independent electoral body.

The four who were named Sunday are Judge Johann Kriegler, who was a chief electoral officer in the South African elections that finished apartheid; Madame Jaquine Techien, a former commissioner of the Federal Institute of Elections of Mexico; Dong N'Guyen, a former chief electoral officer for the UN in areas such as Paraguay and Eritrea; and Carlos Valenzuela, former chief electoral officer for UN operations such as in East Timor.

"We came here in order to ensure that the Iraqi people, as far as this part of the process is concerned, get as fair and open and transparent a deal as possible," Mr. Kriegler told a press briefing in Baghdad.

He emphasized that panel members would have no formal authority or legal power, "but with the knowledge, the experience, and I think the integrity that we have, we can rank the people according to our opinion as openly and as fairly as possible so that they can do a credible, legitimate electoral exercise which will succeed, insha'Allah."

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