Iraqi Governing Council
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The Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) was the provisional government of Iraq from July 13, 2003 to June 1, 2004. It was established by and served under the United States-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). The IGC consisted of various Iraqi political and tribal leaders who were appointed by the CPA to provide advice and leadership of the country until the June 2004 transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi Interim Government (which was replaced in May 2005 by the Iraqi Transitional Government, which was then replaced the following year by the first permanent government).
In September 2003, the Iraqi Governing Council gained regional recognition from the Arab League, which agreed to seat its representative in Iraq's chair at its meetings. On June 1, 2004, the Council dissolved after choosing member Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer as the president of the new Iraq interim government. Full sovereignty was transferred to the interim government (and the CPA dissolved) on June 28.
Though subject to the authority of the CPA administrator Paul Bremer, the council had several key powers of its own. Their duties included appointing representatives to the United Nations, appointing interim ministers to Iraq's vacant cabinet positions, and drafting a temporary constitution, the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL). The TAL spelled out the provisions which were to govern the Iraqi Interim Government, and the timeline for holding elections to a National Assembly, drafting of a permanent constitution to be voted on by the Iraqi people, and elections to a permanent government.
Despite having to answer to the CPA, different factions took on controversial stands. Religious hardliners won a solid victory when Directive 137 was passed on December 29, 2003. Passed by the council in less than 15 minutes, it replaced Iraq's former secular family law code with Shari'a family law. This move met with wide protest among many Iraqi women fearful of how it will affect their freedom to make their own decisions about marriage, divorce, alimony, and many other issues where Iraq used to be a leader in the Arab world for women's rights. Other legislation passed by the council included declaring the day that Baghdad fell to be a national holiday, voting to establish a tribunal to try former government leaders, and banning television stations which are deemed to be supportive of the resistance. A new flag chosen by the council for post-Saddam Iraq created much controversy, in part because of the similarity of color and design with the flag of Israel, and the flag was not adopted.
According to the Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period, the interim constitution that the Council approved, the Council would cease to function after June 30, 2004, at which point full sovereignty would return to Iraq, and the government will be handed over to a new, sovereign interim government. Instead, the council chose to dissolve itself prematurely.
Presidents of the Iraqi Governing Council
|Name||Took office||Left office||Political party|
|Mohammed Bahr al-Uloum (1st time, acting)||13 July 2003||31 July 2003||Non-party|
|Ibrahim al-Jaafari||1 August 2003||31 August 2003||Islamic Dawa Party|
|Ahmed Chalabi||1 September 2003||30 September 2003||Iraqi National Congress|
|Iyad Allawi||1 October 2003||31 October 2003||Iraqi National Accord|
|Jalal Talabani||1 November 2003||30 November 2003||Patriotic Union of Kurdistan|
|Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim||1 December 2003||31 December 2003||Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq|
|Adnan Pachachi||1 January 2004||31 January 2004||Assembly of Independent Democrats|
|Mohsen Abdel Hamid||1 February 2004||29 February 2004||Iraqi Islamic Party|
|Mohammed Bahr al-Uloum (2nd time)||1 March 2004||31 March 2004||Non-party|
|Massoud Barzani||1 April 2004||30 April 2004||Kurdistan Democratic Party|
|Ezzedine Salim||1 May 2004||17 May 2004||Islamic Dawa Party|
|Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer||17 May 2004||1 June 2004||Non-party|
The presidency of Iraq rotated monthly among nine members of the council. A (p) marks those members above. (See President of Iraq.)
On September 1, 2003, the council named its first cabinet. They were:
- Minister of Communications — Haidar al-Abbadi
- Minister of Public Works — Nesreen Mustafa Sidiq Berwari
- Minister of Construction and Housing — Bayan Baqir Solagh
- Minister of the Environment — Abdul-Rahman Sidiq Kareem
- Minister of Trade — Ali Abdul-Amir Allawi
- Minister of Planning — Mahdi al-Hafidh
- Minister of Education — Alaudin Abdul-Saheb al-Alwan
- Minister of Higher Education — Zeyad Abdul-Razzaq Mohammed Aswad
- Minister of Culture — Mofeed Mohammed Jawad al-Jazaeri
- Minister of Human Rights — Abdul-Basit Turki (resigned April 2004)
- Minister of Foreign Affairs — Hoshyar Zebari
- Minister of Interior — Nori al-Badran (resigned April 2004 and replaced by Samir Sumaidaie)
- Minister of Agriculture — Abdul-Ameer Abboud Rahima
- Minister of Sport and Youth — Ali Faik al-Ghadban
- Minister of Health — Dr. Khudayer Abbas
- Minister of Industry and Minerals — Mohammed Tawfik Raheem
- Minister of Justice — Hashim Abdul-Rahman al-Shibli
- Minister of Science and Technology — Rashad Mandan Omar
- Minister of Work and Social Affairs — Sami Izara al-Majoun
- Minister of Electricity — Ayham al-Samaraie
- Minister of Finance — Kamil Mubdir al-Gailani
- Minister of Immigration and Refugees — Mohammed Jassem Khudair
- Minister of Water Resources — Abdul-Latif Rashid
- Minister of Oil — Ibrahim Mohamed Bahr al-Uloum
- Minister of Transport — Behnam Zayya Polis
The Saddam-era positions of Minister of Defense and Minister of Information were dissolved.