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Iraqi Opposition Group to Hold Own National Assembly

A leading opposition group in Iraq says it will hold its own national assembly to plan the country's future government, after the chief U.S. administrator decided to delay his plan for an Iraqi political convention.

Iraq's main opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress, says it will go ahead with plans to hold a national assembly and elect Iraq's new government without U.S. participation.

The announcement was in response to a decision by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority that it would appoint a new advisory group of 25 to 30 prominent Iraqis. The decision effectively postponed indefinitely a coalition-sponsored convention to elect a new government.

Originally, the coalition authority said a convention could be held in mid-July. The spokesman for the Iraqi National Congress, Entifadh Qanbar, said an Iraqi convention is not an American issue.

It remains to be seen whether the coalition will allow such a meeting to be held, or whether it would accept its results.