Iraq’s new government is starting to take shape, with U.S. officials leaking names of a prime minister and president, but it’s still unclear what power, if any, they would have over the country with a vast U.S. army hanging around.
Five weeks before the interim government is due to take over from the U.S. occupation authority on June 30, U.S. officials are hinting that the prime minister will be Hussain Shahristani, a nuclear scientist who paid for his defiance of Saddam Hussein with torture and years of imprisonment in Abu Ghraib and exile.
The US thinks that it has to be a Shi’ite. It also has to be someone who is not seen to be beholden to any particular faction or party and yet not be so much of a technocrat that he has no standing with the parties.
And Shahristani fits that profile.
As for the president, expectations are pointing at Adnan Pachachi, a Sunni who was foreign minister in the 1960s.
Vice presidential choices are expected to be Ibrahim Jaafari, a medical doctor who is spokesman of the Dawa Party, and Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani.
Anyway, it’s still up to Lakhdar Ibrahimi to make the final decision and choose who will be taking what role.
Maybe this new government will actually be better than the current useless governing council, but I still don’t think they’ll be able to do much. I expect the US will still be controlling everything and telling them what to do.
Still, I hope they’ll try to get some good things done for the people of Iraq.