The first and last democratic Iraqi government in generations has been formed after months of political wrangling, making the parliament the only part of the country that is now unified. A spectacular fireworks display marked the event, and a flyover by military jets attracted visitors from all over the world. Americans, British, Iranians and Syrians were among the casualties.
The new Iraqi Prime Minister gave an emotionally-charged debut speech in which he spoke of his hopes for the country, as well as reminding his wife and children that he loved them very much, and that they should always know that. He said that his parliament’s first priority was gaining greater control over the country’s troublesome military forces, to ensure that both sides of the civil war are better co-ordinated. He then concluded the speech by announcing that he was taking stress leave.
The Government’s formation was welcomed by President George Bush in particular, who praised it as “a justification for the Iraq war that works retrospectively”. “The Government of Iraq is now a functioning democratic body that represents the people,” he said, “but these problems will be overcome in time.” He added his hopes that the new government would be competent and popular, and that it could then explain its secret to his own administration.
Kim Beazley was more muted in his praise. “Every political decision seems to take month of horse-trading,” he said, “because the real power lies with a Byzantine system of tribal groups who force unworthy candidates into office.” He hoped for the day when a Byzantine system of factional groups forced unworthy candidates into office.
The new government was lavished with gifts to celebrate its formation, and Trade Minister Mark Vaile was on hand to personally deliver Australia’s official gift to celebrate the new government’s formation, a large quantity of cash.