The United States administrator in
Iraq, Jay Garner, has said the core of an interim Iraqi government should be in place by mid-May.
Garner says he does not want to do all the work
"By the middle of the month, you'll really see a beginning
of a nucleus of an Iraqi government with an Iraqi face on it
that is dealing with the coalition," the retired general said.
He said he expected up to nine Iraqis to form an interim
leadership group that would be a point of contact for the
Mr Garner also said that the self-proclaimed mayor of Baghdad, Mohammed
Mohsen al-Zubaidi, who was arrested by US forces, had been released
after two days.
He was accused of trying to sabotage coalition efforts to restore basic services to the war-torn capital.
The condition for his release was that he must not resume his
activity of establishing authority in Baghdad.
Up to nine in core leadership
Sunni, Shia, Christians and Kurds to be represented
Local and exiled leaders to take part
US diplomat Paul Bremer to oversee political process
"If he steps out of line again, he'll be detained for a lot
longer," Mr Garner said.
Mr Garner accused Mr Zubaidi of stealing cars and confiscating
property while he exercised power in Baghdad.
The Iraqi capital has been plagued by violence and looting since US forces entered on 9 April, prompting criticism that the US military has not acted fast enough to restore order.
The interim administration would consist of returned exiles and local Iraqis, representing Iraq's ethnic and religious spectrum, Mr Garner said.
He cited as likely members: Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi
National Congress, Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of
Kurdistan, Iyad Allawi of the Iraqi National Accord, and Abdul Aziz
al-Hakim, whose elder brother heads the Supreme Council for Islamic
Revolution in Iraq.
A Christian and another Sunni would also be likely to join the leadership.
Meanwhile, in the first vote in Iraq since Saddam Hussein was ousted last month, rival ethnic groups in the northern city of Mosul were set to elect an interim council on Monday.
American troops established a strong security presence at the community hall where the voting is to take place.
More than 200 delegates from different ethnic and
religious groups will elect a chamber of council members and
then immediately choose a mayor from a list of candidates.
Public services pledge
The council will consist of three Kurds, one Christian, one
Assyrian, one Turkmen and seven Arabs inside the city; along
with one Yezidian, one Christian and three Muslims from tribes
outside Mosul, brigade commander Colonel Joseph Anderson said.
Mr Garner has said he expected the newly-appointed career diplomat Paul Bremer to arrive in Iraq next week to oversee the political process within the post-war administration.
Zubaidi was accused of sabotaging US reconstruction efforts
"He will get more involved in the political process. I'm doing
all of it and don't want to do all of it."
Mr Garner said in May there would be a concentration on getting public services up and running again.
He also expressed disappointment that the Iraqi population were still unable to watch television.
"I want TV going to the people ... with a soft demeanour,
programmes they want to see."
Mr Garner is to visit a school, a hospital and an oil refinery as well
as hold talks with a sheikh in Basra on Monday.