Sonic Puke
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5/06/2003

U.S. Brokers 'Election' Of City Council For Mosul
First taste of Democracy for some Iraqi's...


(IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - An assembly of more than 200 people meeting under U.S. "auspices" elected a mayor and council for Iraq's northern capital Monday, May 5.

Amid strong U.S. military security, some 250 delegates listened to a speech by the top U.S. military official in the region before parting to choose the 24-member council, which will select a mayor from three independent candidates.

As the delegates left to choose their representatives, several of them announced to the media that they were withdrawing from the election in protest at the division of delegates along ethnic lines.

Delegates elected an Arab mayor, a Kurdish deputy mayor and two assistant mayors from the Turkmen and Assyrian Christian communities, Agence France-Presse (AFP) said.

A 24-member city council also included representatives of the Yezidi and Shabak communities, two Kurdish sub-groups, and was "carefully" balanced to represent both the city and the surrounding countryside.

The council comprises seven Arabs from inside the city and six from outside, three Kurds, two Assyrian Christians from inside the city and one from outside, one Turkmen and two retired army officers, one from the Shabak community and one Yezidi.

"I congratulate you on your achievement today," Major General David Petraeus, commanding officer of 101st Airborne Division told delegates after the election.

"You have taken a major step forward for Mosul and Iraq. I want to thank the many citizens who worked with us to organize this meeting," he said.

The new mayor, retired army general Ghanim al-Boso, pledged to work "closely" with the U.S.-led troops occupying the city.

"I promise that I will sincerely work with you and with the coalition for the well-being of Mosul and Iraq," he said.



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