The Guardian June 16, 2004

Major tasks for new Iraqi Government

In an editorial last week (before the UN Security Council 
adopted its definitive resolution concerning the future of Iraq) 
Tareeq Al-Shaab, the newspaper of the Iraqi Communist 
Party, said that the discussion between the Iraqi Governing 
Council, the Coalition Provisional Authority and Mr Lakhdar 
Ibrahimi, the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General had 
acquired special significance. It had taken place under 
exceedingly complex and sensitive circumstances and during a 
transition period towards building the requirements and 
conditions for democracy in Iraq.

The newspaper said that the institutions of the new government 
are expected to undertake the momentous task of regaining power 
on June 30 and leading the country over the next seven months.

The first task is to create a suitable political, administrative 
and security atmosphere in which to hold direct general elections 
in the country and prepare the necessary prerequisites, including 
a census, electoral law, legislation for the press and political 
parties, etc.

Preparations also have to be made to draft the country's 
constitution and organise a referendum on it. This will be 
followed by the first elections for an Iraqi National Assembly 
and the formation of a government. 

End occupation, regain sovereignty

The people of Iraq, after years of persistence, suffering and 
struggle, are looking forward to June 30 as an historic turning 
point in their lives and an important signal for ending the 
occupation and regaining national sovereignty.

The editorial said that June 30 will not be a "magical day" to 
end the legacy and effects of years of dictatorship and its wars, 
the strangulating sanctions, compounded by difficulties and 
hardship resulting from the occupation. However, it is crucial to 
reassure Iraqi citizens about the correctness of the path being 
pursued and the determination to address a wide range of social 
and economic problems and difficulties the people face every day.

The first test for the newly formed government will be for it to 
represent, not a particular ethnicity, religious group, sect or 
political party, but all the Iraqis and their aspirations. It is 
essential that it re-examines the previous period which began on 
April 9, 2003 and seriously attend to weaknesses, deficiencies 
and improper practices.

Iraq is home to all Iraqis, who are equal in rights and duties 
before the law says the editorial. And all Iraqis have an equal 
opportunity to compete for positions in any state institution, 
each according to her/his ability and level of competency.

It becomes important to gain the people's confidence and mobilise 
them to defend their own rights. This will help to develop 
people's initiatives so that they can play an active role in 
achieving patriotic tasks to end the occupation, regain full 
sovereignty, rebuild the country's economy and establish a 
democratic Iraq.

People's priorities are far too obvious: security and stability, 
tackling the problems of rampant unemployment by creating job 
opportunities, ensuring basic services, especially electricity 
now that summer is approaching.

It is essential that every Iraqi citizen feels that real changes 
have occurred and correct steps have been taken, first and 
foremost to safeguard her/his interests and satisfy basic needs.

The new government, as it assumes its duties, has big commitments 
to fulfill in order to ensure safe and secure passage over the 
next seven months. All citizens look forward to palpable 
achievements and successes that will place them on the road to 
building a new free, democratic and prosperous Iraq.

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