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Iraq's Transitional Administrative Law a positive step towards democracy.



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MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

ALEXANDER DOWNER

FA35 9 March 2004

IRAQ’S TRANSITIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE LAW A POSITIVE STEP TOWARDS DEMOCRACY

I welcome the adoption by the Iraqi Governing Council of a new Transitional Administrative Law.

The Law represents another important milestone in Iraq’s transition from the days of Saddam’s brutal dictatorship to a new, representative government. It enshrines fundamental freedoms for the people of Iraq, protects the rights of minorities and regional groups, and lays out governmental and judicial structures that will exercise temporary authority until the formation of an elected Iraqi government.

The Law confirms that an interim Iraqi government will assume authority on 1 July 2004, with elections for a Transitional National Assembly to be held by 31 January 2005. After the adoption of a new Iraqi constitution, elections for a fully representative Iraqi Government are expected to take place by the end of 2005.

The adoption of the Law gives Iraqis renewed confidence that the days of tyranny are behind them. It signals that Iraqis of all backgrounds are determined to work together to secure fundamental democratic freedoms and to build a stable, prosperous Iraq, undeterred by the morally bankrupt attempts of terrorists to incite communal violence and undermine the country’s future.

Australia is proud of its contribution to Iraq’s rehabilitation, and we remain strongly committed to maintaining our assistance in areas of need where we can lend particular expertise. We are also heartened by the increasing engagement of the United Nations and international financial institutions in Iraq’s political transition and reconstruction, and will continue to encourage wider international involvement in the task of building a better future for Iraq.

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500/0419 206 890 Lyndall Sachs (Departmental) 02 6261 1555