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Brahimi Outlines Plans For Iraqi Government

United Nations, 28 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said yesterday that despite major obstacles it is possible to form an interim Iraqi government by the end of next month.

Brahimi told the UN Security Council that a caretaker government could be drawn from a group of respected individuals across the country.

He said many Iraqis also favor a national conference of at least 1,000 people from all sectors of society. He said such a conference should be held in July with the purpose of opening a national dialogue and to appoint a council to advise the government.

A viable political process, Brahimi said, should help improve security.

"The sooner a credible Iraqi government is in place to lead the way the better, especially because the absence of such a sovereign government is part of the problem in the first place," Brahimi said.

U.S. officials have given Brahimi the lead in shaping a new governing arrangement in Iraq ahead of the planned transfer of sovereignty on 1 July. Brahimi is due to return early next month to Iraq to gauge Iraqi support for his transitional plan.

Meanwhile, the UN yesterday said that Iraq's U.S.-installed Governing Council has passed a measure to create a commission to prepare for elections to be held in January 2005, Reuters and dpa reported.

UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said the commission, which be led by Iraqis and have an international staff, will oversee, prepare, and conduct the elections according to Iraqi and international standards.