The Guardian July 16, 2003


Iraqi Governing Council set up. Communist leader included.

The New York Times has announced that after tense negotiations a 
group of Iraqi political parties and former exiles reached agreement to set 
up a Governing Council.

The "authorities" and "responsibilities" of the Governing Council that will 
assume extensive executive powers have been set out in two documents agreed 
by the US and British occupying authorities.

"The Governing Council will exercise specific powers immediately in 
addition to representing the interests of the Iraqi people to the [US and 
British authority] and the international community during Iraq's transition 
to a sovereign, democratic and representative government", says one of the 
documents.

Of the 25 persons on the list, 13 are Shiite Muslims, a crucial concession 
to the religious group that makes up 60 per cent of Iraq's 24 million 
people. Five are Kurds and five are Sunni Muslims.

Among the 25 is the Secretary General of the Iraqi Communist Party, Hamid 
Mousa.

One commentator said of him, "How long the affable and assertive leader of 
the Iraqi Communist Party continues to serve on the Governing Council is 
anybody's guess. He was grudgingly admitted to the Council by the sheer 
force of his personality and the popularity and weight of the ICP. To the 
millions of Iraqis suffering under a state of national catastrophe, Hamid 
Majid Mousa will be a symbol of hope".

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