Stages for New Government
The precise stages envisaged in the new plan for Iraqi sovereignty by June, 2003, are available at the Web site of the Coalition Provisional Authority. The Fundamental Law laying out basic rights and the structure of the state must be completed by Feb. 28, 2004. (Dara Nuruddin, a member of the IGC and a court judge, told AFP Sunday that the governing council had already begun crafting the Fundamental Law). By March, 2004, the IGC would complete some bilateral treaties with the US regarding troops in the country.
A new Transitional National Assembly will be elected from each of Iraq’s 18 provinces. It won’t be an expansion of the IGC, though IGC members can run for office. The electorate will be chosen by handpicked committees, so the process is anything but democratic. The TNA will be elected no later than May 31, 2004. The assembly will in turn elect a prime minister or president, who will appoint cabinet officers. The current Interim Governing Council will hand over power to the new government by June 30 and will be dissolved, as will the Coalition Provisional Authority.
Riverbend gained the impression from their recent speeches that Ahmad Chalabi and Jalal Talabani weren’t entirely aware that the Transitional National Assembly won’t be an extension of the IGC. Of course, Talabani will easily be elected anew from Sulaimaniya. Chalabi clearly thinks that he will be elected to the TNA, as well, though I’m not sure what constituency would return him. West Baghdad is Sunni. East Baghdad is pro-Muqtada al-Sadr. Maybe he could get elected from Basra. But he is not very popular from all accounts. One worries that he will use some of the millions he stole from that bank he ran in Jordan, and from the CIA and the State Department, to finance a campaign with bought votes. It would be a horrible thing if this crooked millionnaire subverted budding Iraqi democracy by buying himself the presidency of the country.