Bremer and CPA “Extremely Offended” at Call for UN Role
A member of the Interim Governing Council, Mahmoud Osman, told al-Hayat newspaper that the Coalition Provisional Authority was extremely offended by the IGC’s call for the United Nations to play a role in the transition to Iraqi sovereignty. He said that Washington id not want any international actor to participate in this process. It wants to reap the benefits in order to increase President Bush’s stock on the eve of the US presidential elections.
He told the London daily, “The fundamental issue for Iraqis is the return of sovereignty. The Americans are in a hurry for it, as well, though for their own interests. The important thing for the Americans is to ensure the reelection of George Bush. The achievement of a specific accomplishment in Iraq, such as the transfer of power, increases, in the eyes of the Republican Party, the chances that Bush will be reelected.”
Osman, himself a Kurd, denied that the IGC had given guarantees to the Kurds in support of their demand for a loose federation. He also rejected the idea of keeping the Interim Governing Council and turning it into a senate. He admitted that the IGC was not fully representative, and insisted that Sunnis were under-represented, a fault he hoped the forthcoming elections would correct. (The IGC currently is split 50/50 Sunni and Shiite, whereas in actuality the Shiites are probably 65% of the population). He also said he did not have a problem with Baathists serving in the new parliament, as long as they had not committed crimes.
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has repeatedly called for a UN role in Iraqi elections, and plans are being made for representatives of the IGC to meet with UN officials on the issue.