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Political Infighting Prompts Delay In Iraq Talks

31 May 2004 -- Political disagreements over who should be Iraq's next president prompted U.S. coalition authorities, the United Nations, and the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) to reschedule for tomorrow a meeting on the matter that was planned for today.

The Governing Council backs current Council head Ghazi Ajil al-Yawir to be Iraq's next president.

The top U.S. administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, and UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi reportedly favor Adnan Pachachi.

Mahmud Uthman, a Kurdish member of the Governing Council, today accused the UN and the coalition authorities of trying to impose their candidate on the Governing Council.

"The big majority of the Governing Council is with Mr. Ghazi Ajil al-Yawir, who is the president of the council. They [UN envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, and U.S. administrator Paul Bremer] are supporting Pachachi and not accepting the will of the Governing Council," said Uthman.

Meanwhile, violence continued in the country.

A car exploded in Baghdad, killing at least two people and wounding some 20 others.

Fighting between U.S. forces and Iraqi militiamen loyal to Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr near the southern town of Al-Kufah and in neighboring Al-Najaf overnight killed two U.S. soldiers and around 20 militiamen.

(from wire reports)