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Last Updated: Monday, 14 July, 2003, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
Iraqi Governing Council members

The Iraqi Governing Council, chosen by the US administration in Iraq, is made up of 25 people representing the country's diverse religious and ethnic groupings in broadly proportionate terms.

The members as they appear on the group photo are:

1. Samir Shakir Mahmoud (Sunni)

Mr Mahmoud belongs to the al-Sumaidy clan which believes its origins can be traced back to the Prophet Muhammed. He is described as both a writer and an entrepreneur.

2. Sondul Chapouk (Turkmen)

Ms Chapouk is one of just three women on the council. She is a trained engineer and teacher, as well as being a women's activist.

3. Ahmed Chalabi, Iraqi National Congress (Shia)

Mr Chalabi is the leading figure in the Pentagon-backed INC, which he founded in 1992. It is thought he is viewed with suspicion by some Iraqis due to his proximity to the US administration and to the fact that he has been absent from Iraq for the best part of 45 years.

4. Naseer al-Chaderchi, National Democratic Party (Sunni)

Leader of the NDP, Naseer al-Chaderchi is also a lawyer who lived in Iraq throughout Saddam's regime.

5. Adnan Pachachi, former foreign minister (Sunni)

Mr Pachachi served as a minister from 1965 to 1967 before Saddam Hussein's Baath Party came to power. He is a nationalist with a secular liberal outlook. He is thought to be particularly favoured by the US Department of State.

6. Mohammed Bahr al-Ulloum, cleric from Najaf (Shia)

A highly respected religious scholar viewed as a liberal. He fled Iraq in 1991 after several members of his family were killed by Saddam Hussein's regime.

7. Massoud Barzani, Kurdistan Democratic Party (Sunni Kurd)

Mr Barzani has led the KDP through decades of conflict with the Iraqi central government and with local rivals, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (see below). He commands tens of thousands of armed militia fighters, known as peshmerga, and controls a large area of north-western Iraq.

8. Jalal Talabani, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (Sunni Kurd)

The veteran Kurdish leader is a lawyer by training. He split from the KDP in 1975 to form the PUK, which controls the south-east of northern Iraq.

9. Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim, Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (Shia)

Number two in the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri), the sheikh is the brother of the council's leader Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim, who wants an Islamic regime in Iraq. He has returned to Iraq after 20 years in exile.

10. Ahmed al-Barak, human rights activist (Shia)

Mr al-Barak is the head of the union of lawyers and human rights league in the central city of Babylon.

11. Ibrahim Jaafari, Daawa Islamic Party (Shia)

Mr al-Jaafari is the spokesman for Daawa, one the oldest of the Shia Islamist movements. The party was banned in 1980 and he fled the country.

12. Raja Habib al-Khuzaai, southern tribal leader (Shia)

Ms al-Khuazaai is in charge of a maternity hospital in southern Iraq. She studied and lived in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s, before retuning to Iraq in 1977. Little is known about her political allegiances.

13. Aqila al-Hashimi, foreign affairs expert (Shia)

Ms Hashimi is a former diplomat who worked in the foreign ministry under Saddam Hussein. She holds a doctorate in French literature.

14. Younadem Kana, Assyrian Democratic Movement (Assyrian Christian)

Mr Kana is an engineer who served as an official for transport in the first Kurdish regional assembly and then as a trade minister in the regional government established in Erbil.

15. Salaheddine Bahaaeddin, Kurdistan Islamic Union (Sunni Kurd)

Mr Bahaaeddin founded the union in 1991 and became its secretary general three years later. It is the third most powerful force in Kurdish-dominated northern Iraq.

16. Mahmoud Othman (Sunni Kurd)

Mr Othman held various posts in the Kurdistan Democratic Party in the 1960s before moving to London. There he founded the Kurdish Socialist Party.

17. Hamid Majid Mousa, Communist Party (Shia)

Mr Mousa has been the secretary of the Iraqi Communist Party since 1993. An economist by training, he lived for several years in northern Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War.

18. Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, northern tribal figure (Sunni)

Mr al-Yawer is a civil engineer who spent 15 years based in Saudi Arabia. He is a close relative of Sheikh Mohsen Adil al-Yawar, head of the powerful Shamar tribe, which comprises both Sunnis and Shia.

19. Ezzedine Salim, Daawa Islamic Party (Shia)

Mr Salim is the head of the Daawa Islamic Party, and is based in Basra.

20. Mohsen Abdel Hamid, Iraqi Islamic Party (Sunni)

A prolific author on the Koran, Mr Hamid is the secretary general of the Iraqi Islamic Party - the Iraqi branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

21. Iyad Allawi, Iraqi National Accord (Shia)

Mr Alawi set up the Iraqi National Accord in 1990. His group consists mainly of military and security defectors and for many years supported the idea that the US should try to foster a coup from within the Iraqi army. Its failure to engender this meant it became overshadowed by Mr Chalabi's INC.

22. Wael Abdul Latif, Basra governor (Shia)

Mr Latif has served as judge since the early 1980s and is currently deputy head of the Basra court. He was imprisoned for one year under the regime.

23. Mouwafak al-Rabii (Shia)

A British-educated doctor who lived for many years in London. He is also the author of a book on Iraqi Shia and a human rights activist.

24. Dara Noor Alzin, judge

A judge who was condemned to three years in jail under Saddam Hussein for ruling that one of his edicts on confiscating land was unconstitutional. He served eight months of his sentence before being released under general amnesty in October 2002.

25. Abdel-Karim Mahoud al-Mohammedawi, Hezbollah from Amara (Shia)

Mr al-Mohammedawi has spent much of his life leading a resistance movement against Saddam Hussein in the southern marshes. He spent six years in jail under the regime.

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