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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 June, 2004, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK
Yawer appointed Iraqi president
Ghazi Yawer
Ghazi Yawer was the Council's favourite candidate
The head of Iraq's US-appointed Governing Council, Ghazi Yawer, is to be the country's new interim president, UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has confirmed.

A statement issued by Mr Brahimi also said Ibrahim Jaafari and Rowsch Shaways would be named vice-presidents.

Earlier reports said ex-Foreign Minister Adnan Pachachi had been chosen as president but had declined the job.

It came amid fresh violence in Baghdad, with at least 10 people reported dead in an attack on a Kurdish party HQ.

US choice

Mr Pachachi, 81, was preferred by the US, but most members of the Governing Council had favoured Mr Yawer.

Correspondents say Mr Yawer is a businessman and tribal leader who has recently criticised the way the US has handled security in Iraq.

Troops in street after blast
Baghdad was rocked by a series of blasts
His deputies will be Mr Jaafari, leader of the Shia Dawa party, and Mr Shaways, a Kurd.

Council member Mahmoud Othman told journalists that the appointment would be formally announced later on Tuesday.

Shortly before Mr Brahimi issued his statement, a series of blasts were heard in the centre of Baghdad.

A police spokesman quoted by Reuters news agency said 10 people died in an explosion at the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Party, close to the Iraqi foreign ministry.

Witnesses also said at least four mortars had been fired at the headquarters of the US-led coalition in the so-called Green Zone.


The interim president will be part of a new administration from 30 June, when the US-led coalition is due to hand over sovereignty to the Iraqis.

30 June: Handover from Coalition Provisional Authority to interim government
End of Jan 2005: Elections to National Assembly
Autumn 2005: New constitution voted on in referendum
December 2005: Full elections for new government
January 2006: Directly elected government takes office

The Governing Council has already chosen former exile Iyad Allawi to become prime minister.

The BBC's Caroline Hawley in Baghdad says the post of president is a largely ceremonial one, but that has not prevented deep disagreements over who should occupy it.

Members of the council had accused the US of trying to impose a new Iraqi president against their wishes.

The dispute has delayed the announcement of the interim government that will lead Iraq from the end of this month.

Our correspondent says the row has been damaging, with some council members very critical of how the US handled the process.

Democratic elections are due to be held by next January.

The BBC's Andrew Burroughs
"The new president is a Sunni Muslim"


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