Regions / Iraq

ith its enormous oil wealth, large agricultural base, and population of over 20 million, Iraq has long been considered one of the most important countries in the Arab world.
When Former Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) administrator L. Paul Bremer III left Baghdad after the highly publicized “transfer of sovereignty” in June 2004, he left his imprint through 100 orders that he enacted as chief of the occupation authority in Iraq.
Much attention was paid in the run-up to the January 30 elections in Iraq regarding how the lack of security in much of the country, combined with the decision by major Sunni Arab parties to boycott in protest of recent U.S. attacks on several major urban areas, could thereby skew the results and compromise the resulting government's credibility.
The failure of the U.S.-backed election in Iraq is not that it was illegitimate for most Iraqis but that the exercise has only deepened Iraq's sectarian divisions and perhaps moved the country closer toward the specter of a full-scale civil war.
The meeting between the UN, the Coalition, and the Iraqi Governing Council on 19 January suggests that the harsh realities of an election year in the U.S. may be making elections more feasible in Iraq.
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