The Guardian August 6, 2003


Interview with Iraqi communist leader:
Power to the people!

In an interview with Hamid Mousa, the General Secretary of the Iraqi 
Communist Party, published by the Iraqi daily Al-Sa'ah, the party 
leader said that the Party strives, through participating in the Governing 
Council, to raise the prestige of Iraqis and their role in defending their 
interests. The party is using the transitional period to speed up putting 
political power in the hands of the Iraqi people, in order that they start 
ruling and running the affairs of their country by themselves.

Replying to a question about the invitation extended to the party to join 
the Governing Council, he said that the Communist Party is a political 
force with a memorable history and an established presence and anyone who 
looks for solutions to Iraq's problems cannot ignore the Party's role.

Regarding the position of the Americans towards the Council, and whether 
they would use a "veto" to annul its decisions, Hamid Mousa said that this 
a matter of contest. There is no one single authority which would decide, 
full stop. Alongside the occupation authority which was legitimated by UN 
Security Council Resolution 1483, there is now the authority of the 
Governing Council, which the Council is trying to expand.

He added that this path is extremely difficult. It constitutes a challenge 
from the practical point of view. But the members of the Council are 
prepared to take it up through continuous dialogue and serious discussions 
between the two sides.

He said that the word "veto" does not exist at present, in practice. This 
does not mean that we can work without taking into account the existence of 
another authority along with us.

Hamid Mousa said that the Iraqi Communist Party was among those calling for 
an enlargement of the Council to include other forces. The fact that this 
or that party did not join the Council does not in any way diminish its 
significance. He expressed his hope that those who did not join the Council 
would prepare to take part in the general elections when the people will 
choose their true representatives.

Replying to criticism of the Governing Council, he said that he regards the 
views of critics with respect, hoping that their criticisms would be 
positive and without defamation.

Hamid Mousa said that the Iraqi Communist Party aspires to establish a 
democratic, pluralistic and federal republican system of government in a 
unified Iraq.

Regarding federalism, he said that the Party is not opposed to 
administrative federalism, but the issue is different for Iraqi Kurdistan, 
as the people there have their own legitimate national rights which they 
ought to enjoy, and this will not be guaranteed by mere administrative 
federalism.

In response to a question by the Al-Sa'ah correspondent about the 
secret behind the large numbers of people visiting the party headquarters 
and centres, and the evident movement and activity there, the Hamid Mousa 
explained that the Iraqi Communist Party is the oldest deeply-rooted 
political party in Iraq, and has a lot of close ties with various sections 
and strata of the people, interacting with the masses of citizens and their 
aspirations and desires, and supporting their legitimate demands.

The Party's long history of struggle against the dictatorship is full of 
sacrifices.

This is the reason why people come and visit their party centres in large 
numbers, and even apply to join the Party. Those wishing to become party 
members come from various age groups, including young people along with 
older members whose relationship with the Party had been severed under the 
demised regime of terror, and who now want to resume their work and 
continue the march ahead, he said.

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