The New Iraqi Government
When the United States handed over sovereignty in Iraq on June 28, an interim Iraqi government took control of the country. This government has replaced the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, and will rule until elections are held in January 2005. Under the terms of a U.N. Security Council resolution passed on June 8, a multinational military force headed by the U.S. will remain in Iraq to maintain security, and can be asked by the interim government to leave at any time.
The 37 members of the Iraqi Interim Government were appointed on June 1 by U.N. Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, after consulting with Iraqi political, religious and tribal leaders, as well as U.S. officials and the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council. The new government will operate under a legal framework set forth in an interim constitution, the Transitional Administrative Law, which was approved by the Iraqi Governing Council in March.
The President of the Iraqi Interim Government, Sheik Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar, acts as head of state, a largely ceremonial role, and with two Deputy Presidents forms a three-member Presidency. The Prime Minister, Dr. Ayad Allawi, has day-to-day responsibility for the management of the government, and heads the Council of Ministers, which with the unanimous approval of the Presidency, can issue orders or decrees with the force of law.
Other elements of the interim government include a Supreme Commission; an Interim National Council which can veto decrees from the Council of Ministers with a two-thirds vote, and has the authority to appoint replacements to the Presidency in the event of death or resignation; and an independent Judicial Authority.
President: Sheik Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar
Yawar, 45, is a Sunni Muslim and a leading sheik in the prominent northern Shammar tribe, one of the largest in the region. Yawar was a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, and won the support of the majority of its members for the presidency, reportedly after former foreign minister Adnan Pachachi turned down the job.
Born in Mosul, Iraq, Yawar fled Iraq in the early 1990s and ran a telecommunications company in Saudi Arabia. Yawar is a civil engineer and studied at the Petroleum and Minerals University in Saudi Arabia and at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Deputy President: Dr. Ibrahim Jafari
Jafari, 57, is a Shiite Muslim and a member of the Da'wa Party. He was born in Karbala, Iraq, and earned a medical doctorate from Mosul University in Iraq.
After Saddam Hussein banned Da'wa in the 1980s, Jafari moved to Iran and then to London. He was a member of the former Iraqi Governing Council.
Deputy President: Rowsch Shaways
Shaways, 57, is a non-Arab Kurd and president of the Kurdistan National Assembly. He left Iraq while he was a student and earned a doctorate in engineering in Germany.
Shaways is a senior member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, one of the two largest rival parties in northern Iraq. He was the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan regional movement that began after Iraqi troops left Kurdish territory in 1991.
Prime Minister: Dr. Ayad Allawi
Allawi, 58, is a secular Shiite and co-founder of the Iraqi National Accord, a CIA-supported opposition group that staged an unsuccessful coup against Saddam Hussein in 1996. Born in Baghdad, Allawi was a Baathist who served in the Iraqi intelligence service until a falling out with the regime in 1971, when he left to study neurology in London.
Allawi's American support and connections with the U.S. military and the CIA make him controversial to some Iraqis. However, he is backed by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani , the top Shiite cleric in Iraq, and was a security official in the former Iraqi Governing Council. Allawi's political organization, the secular Iraqi National Accord, is a collaboration between Sunni Muslims, ethnic Kurds, and former members of the Baath party.
Deputy Prime Minister for National Security Affairs: Barham Saleh
Saleh, 44, is a leader of one of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the largest Iraqi political parties. Born in northern Iraq, Saleh fled Iraq in 1979 and became the PUK's spokesman in London. He holds a doctorate in statistics and computer modeling from the University of Liverpool.
Minister of Defense: Hazem Sha'alan al-Khuzaei
Al-Khuzaei, 57, is governor of Diwaniyah, and a Sunni sheik in the powerful Ghazal tribe. He was a banker in Iraq until 1985 when he was forced out by Saddam Hussein's regime. While exiled in England, he managed a successful real estate firm.
Minister of Finance: Adel Abdel-Mahdi
Abdel-Mahdi, 62, is an economist and a member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a Shiite Islamist group. He is the son of a prominent Shiite cleric who was a minister in the Iraqi monarchy. After being sentenced to death for political activities in the 1960s, Abdel-Mahdi fled to France, where he earned degrees in politics and economics and headed the French Institute of Islamic Studies. He was a member of the former Iraqi Governing Council.
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Hoshiyar Zebari
Zebari, 51, is a leader in the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and has been a member of the central committee and political bureau since 1979. He was born in Aqrah, Iraq, received a political science undergraduate degree in Jordan, and a graduate degree in sociology in Great Britain.
Zebari was a guerrila fighter in Kurdish rebellions against Saddam Hussein's regime. Before his appointment to the interim Iraqi government, he was the Kurdistan Democratic Party's European representative and international relations manager. Since his appointment, he has traveled around the world to encourage support for the transformation of Iraq.
Minister of Interior: Falah Hassan al-Naqib
Hassan, 48, is a Sunni who was named the governor of Salah al-Din, in the Tikrit province, after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Born in Samarra, he is the son of a prominent Iraqi general, Hassan al-Naqib, who defected in the 1970s and became an active member of the exiled opposition movement. Hassan earned a degree in civil engineering in the United States.
Minister of Justice: Malik Dohan al-Hassan
Hassan, 84, was twice elected to Iraq's parliament during the monarchy that was overthrown in 1958. He was appointed Minister of Culture and Information in 1967, but was later imprisoned by Saddam Hussein. He is currently president of the Iraqi Bar Association, and chairman of a special task force on compensation for victims of the Saddam regime. He was one of the first to openly protest treatment of prisoners in American-controlled camps.
Minister of Oil: Thamir Ghadbhan
Ghadbhan, 59, has been an official in the Iraqi oil ministry for over three decades. He was born in Babil, Iraq and earned a masters degree in petroleum engineering from London University. A leading authority on Iraqi oil, Ghadbhan has written dozens of studies and reports on Iraqi oil fields. During the Hussein regime, Ghadbhan was detained and demoted for being in support of democratic reforms. He was reappointed by the U.S. Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance to the oil ministry.
Minister of Agriculture: Sawsan al-Sharifi
Minister of Communications: Mohammed al-Hakim
Minister of Culture: Mufid al-Jazairi
Minister of Displacement and Migration: Pascale Isho Warda
Minister of Education: Sami al-Mudhaffar
Minister of Electricity: Ayham al-Samarrae
Minister of Environment: Mishkat Moumin
Minister of Health: Dr. Alaadin al-Alwan
Minister of Higher Education: Taher al-Bakaa
Minister of Housing and Construction: Omar al-Damluji
Minister of Human Rights: Bakhtiar Amin
Minister of Industry and Minerals: Hakim al-Hasni
Minister of Labor and Social Affairs: Layla Abd al-Latif
Minister of Planning: Mahdi al-Hafidh
Minister of Public Works: Nesreen Berwari
Minister of Science and Technology: Rashad Mandan Omar
Minister of Trade: Mohammed al-Jibouri
Minister of Transportation: Louay Sultan al-Erris
Minister of Water Resources: Abd-al-Latif Rashid
Minister of Youth and Sport: Ali Faiq al-Ghadban
Minister of State for Provinces: Wail Abdul al-Latif
Minister of State for Women: Narmin Othman
Minister of State Without Portfolio: Kassim Daoud
Minister of State Without Portfolio: Mahmoud Othman
Minister of State Without Portfolio: Adnan al-Janabi
Sources: Coalition Provisional Authority, Council on Foreign Relations, news reports
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