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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 federalism.

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.
Aash al-Iraq!


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