'US choice' turns down Iraq presidency

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The Independent Online

The US and Saudi-educated head of Iraq's Governing Council was today named as president of the country's interim government, after the Americans' preferred candidate turned down the post.

The US and Saudi-educated head of Iraq's Governing Council was today named as president of the country's interim government, after the Americans' preferred candidate turned down the post.

The selection of Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer to the largely ceremonial post broke a deadlock over the make-up of a new Iraqi government set to assume power on 30 June.

Council members had angrily accused the US occupation governor, Paul Bremer, of trying to install Adnan Pachachi, a former foreign minister, over their opposition. Sources had said earlier that the Americans warned that if the members went ahead and voted for al-Yawer, the United States might not recognize the choice.

In a statement, Brahimi said the two vice presidencies went to Ibrahim al-Jaafari, of the Shiite Muslim Dawa party, and Rowsch Shaways, speaker of parliament in the Kurdish autonomous region in Irbil.

The Iraqi Governing Council decided to dissolve immediately after the new interim government was announced.

Younadam Kana told reporters that 20 of the 22 members of the US-appointed body, which was appointed last July, agreed to go out of business. The council had been expected to remain in office until the transfer of sovereignty.

Kana said that two members expressed reservations, arguing the interim constitution adopted in March required the council to continue its work until the sovereignty transfer at the end of this month.

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