New Iraqi council members 'elected'

Iraqi political and religious leaders have picked a transitional council, choosing a list of candidates backed by the government after four days of debate.

    The main political parties were accused of hijacking the process

    The announcement on Wednesday was made by Walid Shaltah, a senior member

    of the organising committee for the process.

       

    The 100-member council will oversee the interim government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and pave the way for elections in January.

       

    On Tuesday, independent delegates said the council was being stacked with government supporters and could be no more than a rubber stamp.

     

    The vote was consequently delayed, amid a barrage of accusations from some 450 delegates that the main political parties had hijacked the process.

     

    'None marginalised'

     

    Several members at the conference withdrew from the process in protest against the mechanism of electing the members to the council, reported Aljazeera's correspondent.

     

    The transitional council seeks to
    cover all sectors of Iraqi society

    But a delegate at the conference, Sadiq al-Musawi, said the representation was proportional to the percentage of various sections in the country.

     

    "For instance, we have 25% of the council seats allotted for woman. There are seats for minorities, tribesmen, institutions of civil community, political movements and parties and academics. It is well balanced in the sense that it covers all Iraqi sections and none is marginalised", al-Musawi said.

     

    Veto power

     

    Of the 81 seats on the interim legislature decided by vote, 21 are reserved for party members, 21 for provincial leaders, 11 for minorities, 10 for tribal figures, 10 for civil-society organisations and eight for independents.

     

    The remaining 19 seats, including three women, have already been handed to members of the defunct Governing Council created by the US-led occupation shortly after the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

    The council will be able to veto legislation with a two-thirds majority, approve the 2005 budget and appoint a new prime minister or president should either quit or die in office. 

     

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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