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Iraqi Governing Council Member Chosen as Interim President - 2004-06-01

Iraqi Governing Council member Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar was chosen Tuesday to be the president of Iraq's interim government, breaking a political deadlock that had delayed the formation of a new cabinet. From Baghdad, VOA Correspondent Alisha Ryu reports the deadlock broke after another leading candidate for president, who was favored by the United Nations and the United States, turned down the offer.

During a ceremony to present the new 30-member interim cabinet, Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar pledged to work for Iraqi unity and democracy. The Sunni Muslim tribal leader said that all Iraqis were now looking forward to June 30, when full power transfers from the U.S.-led administration in Iraq to an interim government.

Mr. Yawar was appointed president after another Governing Council member, Adnan Pachachi, refused the post early Tuesday. The deadlock over the presidency arose when the chief American administrator here, Paul Bremer, and the U.N. envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi - both of whom supported Mr. Pachachi - objected to the Governing Council's decision to support Sheik Yawar.

Council member Mowaffak al-Rubaie says the 22-member U.S. appointed body believes Mr. Yawar is the right man for the job. ?He's very cultured and has the respect of the cabinet, the Iraqi people and I think he's going to be a very good president,? he said.

The Governing Council agreed Tuesday to disband now so that the members of the new government can get to work.