20 February 2004

Plan for Caucuses In Iraq Is Dropped

The Bush administration is abandoning the core idea of its plan to hold regional caucuses for an Iraqi provisional government and will instead work with the United Nations and Iraqis to develop yet another plan for the transfer of political power by June 30, U.N. and U.S. officials said yesterday.

The decision, forced by rejection of the caucus system by a wide range of Iraqis, means that the Coalition Provisional Authority led by the U.S. administrator, L. Paul Bremer, will instead hand over authority to a caretaker government until direct elections can be held, officials said.

In a meeting at the United Nations yesterday, Secretary General Kofi Annan told a gathering of diplomats with interests in Iraq that the Iraqis themselves should determine the participants and form of a caretaker government that will be credible to Iraq's disparate society, according to U.N. officials who attended.

This is good news. It will be better news if the CPA sets up a genuine dialogue under UN auspices. I wonder how this will play in the US election?

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