Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Iraq's New President

The Iraqi Parliament compromised and chose Jalal Talabani as the first post-Saddam President of Iraq. Talabani is not Arab, he is Kurdish.

Here is President Bush's statement (source):

President Bush issued the following statement today on the election of Jalal Talabani as Iraq’s next president:

“Iraq’s Transitional National Assembly took a momentous step forward in Iraq’s transition to democracy today, voting by an overwhelming majority to elect the Presidency Council of the Iraqi Transitional Government.”

“I congratulate Iraq’s next President, Jalal Talabani, and its next Deputy Presidents, Adil Abd al-Mahdi and Ghazi Ajil al-Yawer, on this historic occasion. These individuals will be formally sworn in tomorrow and will move quickly to name a Prime Minister who will work during the coming days to select a Council of Ministers. The new Iraqi government will then begin its important work of writing a new constitution, continuing to train Iraqi security forces, delivering basic services, and advancing Iraq’s transformation from dictatorship to democracy.”

“The Iraqi people have shown their commitment to democracy and we, in turn, are committed to Iraq. We look forward to working with this new government and we congratulate all Iraqis on this historic day.”

Al-Mahdi is a Shi'ite, al-Yawer is a Sunni. The Presidency Council selects the Iraqi Prime Minister, who then selects his deputy ministers. Expect more something-for-everyone horse trading in the Cabinet; much like the Presidency Council, which has one member of each of the three major groups in Iraq: Kurds, Shi'ites, Sunnis.

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