Iyad Alawi takes over Presidency of IGC
Iyad Alawi became president of the Interim Governing Council on October 1, in accordance with a compromise that lets each of 9 IGC members take one-month rotations as leaders. Alawi, b. 1945, was trained as a physician (a neurologist) at Baghdad University and practiced in the UK He was inducted into the Royal Society of Physicians in 1980. He is also a businessman. His Iraqi National Accord groups ex-Baath officers, and Alawi, a Shiite, unsuccessfully attempted to foment a military coup against Saddam in the 1990s.
The rotation may please Washington, which according to Robin Wright of the LA Times has put enormous pressure on Alawi’s predecessor, Ahmad Chalabi, not to embarrass President Bush by pressing for a quick turnover of power by the Coalition Provisional Authority to the American-appointed Interim Governing Council. Chalabi all but endorsed the French position at the United Nations, much to the chagrin of Washington, which is trying without much success to get a new UNSC resolution passed that would allow more countries to send troops or money to help with Iraq reconstruction.