L. Paul Bremer
Coalition Provisional Authority
PSA- The Transitional Administrative Law
Constitution & Referendum
I am Paul Bremer, Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.
On June 30 Iraqis will be in charge of Iraq.
On that day, the occupation will end and the Coalition Provisional Authority and
the Governing Council will dissolve. Sovereignty will pass from the Coalition to
Iraq’s interim government. Over the following 18 months, Iraq will move toward
democracy. The process is spelled out in the Transitional Administrative Law.
That Law is only the first step on the path to Iraq’s democracy. It is an
essential part of this journey. Iraq needs– and will have– an elected body to
write its constitution. But electing that body, and allowing them to write the
constitution, will take time.
Until that body produces a permanent constitution, there must be some legal
framework to govern the country and to provide stability while the constitution
is being written. The Transitional Administrative Law provides this structure,
but nothing more. It will cease to be in effect once a permanent constitution is
The Law also provides the framework necessary for elections, fair elections in
which Iraqis, all Iraqis can vote freely.
The election of the Iraqis who will write your permanent constitution is central
to your future of hope. As spelled out in the Transitional Administrative Law,
no later than January 31, 2005 all adult Iraqis will be able to vote to elect a
National Assembly of 275 members. The assembly you elect will write a permanent
constitution for Iraq.
The National Assembly has until August 15, 2005 to write this, the first
constitution written by elected Iraqis. After it is written, the constitution
will be circulated throughout the country. Then, as the Transitional
Administrative Law makes clear, you will have a chance to vote on the
constitution in October of 2005. Elections for a new government will take place
in December of next year and the new government will be in place before the end
Some people have expressed fears that the Transitional Administrative Law
creates obstacles for the adoption of a permanent and durable constitution. But
that is not the case. Instead, it provides incentives for those drafting the
constitution to take into account the interests and needs of all Iraqis.
The 275 National Assembly members who will draft the constitution know they must
produce a document with broad appeal. If they do not, and the constitution is
rejected, the assembly will be dissolved and a newly elected National Assembly
will write Iraq’s permanent constitution.
The process for adopting Iraq’s permanent constitution is contained in the
Transitional Administrative Law. This law was written by the Governing Council
to give you, the voters, great power. It makes sure that your constitution
provides for the interests and rights of all Iraqis.
Your Transitional Administrative Law makes sure that the people who write your
constitution are elected by you and that then you get to vote on that
constitution before it is put into place. This is one of the ways in which your
Transitional Administrative Law assures your future of hope.
Mabruk al Iraq al Jadeed.