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Coalition Provisional Authority 

Contact: Joseph Frazier

May 3, 2004

Provincial Council Selects Future Governor of Baghdad

Baghdad – The Baghdad Provincial Council gathered last Thursday for a special plenary meeting to select its preference for Baghdad’s Governor, Mr. Louai Hatim Sultan Al-Aris. The meeting took place in downtown Baghdad, at City Hall known as “Amanat Baghdad,” in Russafa District.

Six candidates vied for the position of Baghdad’s first democratically selected Governor. Each candidate was given 20 minutes to present his qualifications to the council and to answer questions from the council members. Forty-six members of the Baghdad Provincial Council, representing all of Baghdad’s municipal and suburban districts, were authorized to vote.

During the first round of voting, the council chose to eliminate three of the candidates. After the second round, Mr. Louai Hatim Sultan Al-Aris prevailed in the process. Mr. Sami Jassim Al-Askari placed 2nd, and Dr. Salam Zukum Ali Fadhily came in 3rd.

The Governor of Baghdad is responsible for coordinating the work of all government ministries within the province. He works closely with the provincial council, with the Mayor of Baghdad, and with the Chief Executives in each of the six Qadas outside the city.

The council’s selection awaits Ambassador Paul Bremer’s confirmation.

Those in attendance included CPA observers, as well as those persons interested in observing the democratic process, and reporters representing Iraqi and international media outlets.

The Provincial Council Selection Committee initially received 60 applications for the position of Governor in response to a highly publicized advertisement campaign in local Baghdad newspapers and other media outlets. From that group of highly qualified applicants, twelve were deemed to have fully satisfied the advertised criteria and ten were interviewed. As a final exercise, the Selection Committee vetted the number of applicants to six, and submitted their names to the full council for consideration.

The exceptionally well-qualified finalists included five with engineering degrees, and one with a substantive finance and accounting background. They were, (listed in alphabetical order): Mr. Sami Jassim Al-Askari (2nd), Dr. Salam Zukum Ali Fadhily (3rd), Mr. Ali Radhi Al-Haydari, Dr. Ghazi Radhie Al-Abodie, Mr. Kamel Khudyer Abbas Al-Murshidy and Mr. Louai Hatim Sultan Al-Aris (1st).

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