L. Paul Bremer
Coalition Provisional Authority
PSA- The Transitional Administrative Law
I am Paul Bremer, administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.
On June 30, occupation will end.
And on that date you and all Iraqis begin the transition to democratic,
constitutional government. But until that constitution is written, until you
elect your national government, there must be a basic law, a set of rules to
define and limit the role government plays in each of your lives. Your
Transitional Administrative Law provides that set of rules; it defines the role
of government while you write a constitution and elect a government.
Your Transitional Administrative Law has strong protections of individual
rights, rights such as freedom of religious belief and practice. But even a
government which is committed to individual rights can grow distant from the
people if too much power is concentrated in Baghdad. What seems like a good idea
in Baghdad may not work well in Suleymania or Basrah or Ramadi.
That is why the Iraqi Governing Council, as they wrote your Transitional
Administrative Law, carefully set up a system which guarantees that all parts of
Iraq will have local control of local affairs while sharing in the nation’s
wealth and having a voice in national affairs. The empowerment of local
government is based on the principle that locally elected governments acting
locally do some things better, while other things are best done by the central
government in Baghdad that is elected by all the people. The system is called
Iraqis will be able to maintain local customs, choose local leaders, make local
laws, and supervise the delivery of local services. At the same time, the
regions and provinces will be able to enjoy the economic and security benefits
of living in a larger country.
Federalism does not benefit any one region over any other. It is not a favor to
any one region. It is a balanced system of government which favors all Iraqis by
giving each of you more control over your government.
This kind of system has succeeded in other countries. The United Arab Emirates
is one nearby state that has done well with federalism. India, with multiple
ethnic and religious groups, including the world’s largest Muslim population,
uses a federal system.
Federalism gives increased power to the government closest to your family and
your daily lives. Federalism will help guarantee your freedom as you move make
the 18-month transition to a directly elected government.
Yours is a future of hope.
And that hope includes the first constitution written by Iraqis, direct election
of local and national officials and a Transitional Administrative Law that
defines your rights along the way.
Mabruk al Iraq al Jadeed.