Al-Hakim takes IGC seat

02 December 2003
Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, a member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) on 1 December took the rotating leadership of the interim Governing Council (GC). Al-Hakim replaces Jalal Talabani, the head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, who held the position during November. The change in leadership comes at a sensitive time in the council's existence as it becomes clear that a number of members, including Al-Hakim, do not agree whole-heatedly with the US plan for the transition of political power in Iraq. Al-Hakim in late November complained that the IGC was pressured to approve the plan.

Al-Hakim has close ties to prominent Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, who has criticised the US-led invasion and occupation. On 26 November Al-Hakim announced that senior Shias - including Ayatollah Ali Sistani, in Iraq foresaw 'real problems' with the US plan for a transfer of power to Iraqis, scheduled for June 2004.

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