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Iraq: U.S. Administrator Says General Elections Possible Within One Year

Baghdad, 31 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. chief administrator for Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, said today that general elections could be held in Iraq within a year. Bremer said it was not unrealistic to think that elections could be held by mid-2004. Bremer said it was now important that a new constitution be written and accepted by the Iraqi people in a referendum. "When a sovereign government is installed, the coalition authority will cede authority to the government and my job here will be over," he said.

Iraq took a step toward self-government yesterday when the 25-member Governing Council announced it would function with a nine-member rotating leadership.