RealNews

Iraqi Panel Pivots on U.S. Plan

Most members of Iraq’s U.S.-appointed Governing Council no longer support the Bush administration’s plan to choose an interim government through caucuses and instead want the council to assume sovereignty until elections can be held, several members have said. The caucus proposal, which the council endorsed in November, is a cornerstone of the administration’s plan to end the civil occupation of Iraq this summer. Seeking to lay the foundation for a political system that would shun extremism and keep the country united, the administration had wanted a transitional government selected by carefully vetted local caucuses to run Iraq through the end of 2005. But with Iraqi religious leaders demanding that voting occur much sooner — and with a growing expectation here that the United Nations will call for elections by the end of this year or early next year — a majority of Governing Council members have quietly withdrawn support for the caucus plan. Full Story

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