GIS Special Topical Studies
Iraq War 2003: Background, Lessons and Follow-On

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June 2, 2004

Iraqi Governing Council Selects Transition Leadership

The Iraqi Governing Council on June 1, 2004, selected Ghazi al-Yawer, 46, as President of Iraq, to lead the country until planned elections by the end of January 2005. As well, a Prime Minister and Cabinet were approved. Sunni Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawer, a Western-educated Shammari1 tribesman from Mosul, was chosen after Adnan Pachachi — who had been favored by the US Bush Administration — rejected the post after days of reportedly acrimonious debate between the US-led occupation and members of the Governing Council, and, at that point, US officials significantly allowed United Nations officials to move into the spotlight as the new Government was introduced.

In essence, the UN and its envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, were shown in the first gathering of the new Administration to be its sponsors. The move enabled Pres. Ghazi al-Yawar and his Government to distance themselves from the US Administration, at the same time allowing the new Government to receive UN blessing, a gesture which was believed to be designed to enable Pres. Ghazi al-Yawar to increase support from the Iraqi public.

Ibrahim Jaffari from the Shi’ite religious party Dawa, and Roj Nuri Shawis of Massoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), were appointed Vice-Presidents.

Day-to-day governing authority, however, will rest with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. The new Prime Minister selected was a Shi’a, offsetting the election of a Sunni President. Iyad Allawi, who was supported by the US Government, was elected to the post.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council on the night of June 1, 2004, began discussing a new US-UK revised resolution on the June 30, 2004, handover of power in Baghdad. US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that the new text “makes clearer that the occupation ends on June 30 [2004] and that the Iraqi interim government will be fully sovereign”. The amended draft does not set a “date certain” for US troops to leave Iraq, but that it would take into account previous agreements which referred to that timetable as coming by the end of 2005 or early 2006. France, Germany and the People’s Republic of China have opposed the resolution, calling for a specific, earlier date for the withdrawal of Coalition military forces from Iraq.

The new Iraqi Administration was announced as follows:

President: Yawer, Ghazi (Sunni)

Vice President 1: Jaafari, Ibrahim (Shi’a)

Vice President 2: Shaways, Rowsch (Kurd)

Prime Minister: Allawi, Iyad (Shi’a)

Deputy Prime Minister for National Security: Saleh, Barham (Kurd)

Foreign Minister: Zebari, Hoshyar (Kurd)

Finance Minister: Abdel-Mahdi, Adil (Shi’a)

Defense Minister: Shalan al-Khuzaei, Hazem

Interior Minister: Hassan al-Naqib, Falah

Minister of Oil: Ghadbhan, Thamir

Minister of Justice: Dohan al-Hassan, Malik (Sunni)

Minister of Human Rights: Amin, Bakhityar

Minister of Electricity: al-Samarrai, Ayham (Sunni)

Minister of Health: Abdessaheb al-Alwan, Alaa

Minister of Communication: Mohammed Ali Hakim (Shi’a)

Minister of Housing: Omar Farouk

Minister of Public Works: Mustafa Berwari, Nesreen (Kurd)

Minister of Science and Technology: Mandan Omar, Rashad (Sunni)

Minister of Planning: al-Hafez, Mahdi (Shi’a)

Minister of Trade: al-Joubri, Mohammed

Minister of Sport and Youth: Faik Alghaban, Ali (Shi’a)

Minister of Transportation: Hatim Sultan al-Aris, Louei

Minister of Provincial Affairs: Abdel-Latif, Wael (Shi’a)

Minister of Women's Affairs: Othman, Nermin

Minister of Immigration and Refugees: Essue, Bascal

Minister of Irrigation: Rashid, Latif

Minister of Labour: Abdul-Latif, Leila

Minister of Education: Mudahfar, Sami

Minister of Higher Education: al-Bakaa, Tahir

Minister of Agriculture: Sherif, Sawsan

Minister of Culture: Mohammad Jawad al-Jazairi, Mufid (Shi’a)

Minister of Industry: al-Hassani, Hajim

Minister of State: Dawoud, Qassim

Minister of State: Farhad Othman, Mahmoud

Minister of State: al-Janabi, Adnan (Kurd)



1. The Shammari tribe, of which Pres. Yawer is a leader, is one of Iraq's largest tribes, and includes appr. three-million Sunni and Shiites. Pres. Yawer has promoted his inter-sectarian ties, noting his close relations to Kurds and his upbringing of respect for Shi’a, as well as Sunni tradition, and for Christianity.