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Interview with Baghdad mayor who was forcibly removed yesterday

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/8/652008C6-EC63-4137-96CC-B3260718CAD3.html Wednesday, 10 August 2005 Ousted Baghdad Mayor Speaks To Radio Free Iraq
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 10, 2005
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      http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/8/652008C6-EC63-4137-96CC-B3260718CAD3.html

      Wednesday, 10 August 2005

      Ousted Baghdad Mayor Speaks To Radio Free Iraq

      RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) correspondent Ahmad
      al-Zubaydi interviewed ousted Baghdad Mayor Ala'
      al-Tamimi on 9 August by telephone after he was
      forcibly removed from his position on 8 August by
      armed men supporting Baghdad City Council Chairman
      Mazin Makkiya.

      RFI: Baghdad Mayor Ala' al-Tamimi has confirmed the
      news reported in the media on what he called "the
      occupation of Baghdad mayoral headquarters by Baghdad
      Governor Husayn al-Tahhan, [Baghdad] Governorate
      Council Chairman Mazin Makkiya, and a number of armed
      men." They attacked and beat a number of
      administrative employees at Baghdad Municipality,
      al-Tamimi says.

      Al-Tamimi: Baghdad Governor Husayn al-Tahhan entered
      the municipality, accompanied by [Baghdad] Governorate
      Council President Mazin Makkiya and some 120 armed
      men. He summoned an assembly in my office where he
      announced that he was now assuming the post of acting
      mayor and that he is now expecting to receive orders.
      He was asked who had entitled him with this action as
      mayor is subordinate to the Council of Ministers. He
      replied [to the person who asked], "I am not receiving
      orders from you." Then he started, supported by the
      armed men, to arrest some administrative employees and
      beat some of them. I have no militia that would guard
      me. Thank God, I was not present in the office when it
      was stormed. Now it is he [al-Tahhan] who has abused
      the responsibilities of his office.

      RFI: What reaction have you received from the
      government at the occupation of Baghdad mayoral
      headquarters?

      Al-Tamimi: I telephoned the secretary of the Council
      of Ministers. He confirmed the action was unacceptable
      and condemnable. It is not worthy of the position [of
      Baghdad governor] to conduct such an action. I have
      also telephoned a number of politicians, all of whom
      have expressed their astonishment over this behavior
      that is not worthy of new Iraq, of a democratic
      country, and of elected political forces. The behavior
      is typical of the era of military coups, an era that
      Iraq has already departed from as I had hoped. What
      happened yesterday, however, is a very dangerous
      development.

      RFI: Did you speak with Husayn al-Tahhan? Did any
      meeting take place between you that would clarify the
      reasons of his action?

      Al-Tamimi: You may know that a week ago, the Baghdad
      Governorate Council named Husayn al-Tahhan to the post
      of acting Baghdad governor. While I was on vacation
      outside Iraq, a campaign to denigrate my image was
      launched here. I was apprehended in the airport and
      remained in detention for one day. All that was based
      on unfounded allegations.

      At that time, the decree naming Husayn al-Tahhan as
      acting Baghdad governor was sent by the municipality
      to the Council of Ministers. A reply from the Council
      of Ministers said they would be dealing with the
      issue, adding that the Council of Ministers is the
      only party entitled to repeal or appoint the Baghdad
      mayor. The issue had been raised earlier and it will
      be discussed tomorrow as I announced my resignation
      and was pensioned from the post already on 21 June. I
      did not know that such problems would appear on the
      part of the Baghdad Governorate Council and Baghdad
      governor. I have already decided to withdraw. I am a
      man of work, not a man of conflict. I do not get
      involved in conflicts, I do not belong to any
      political party. I do not have any militias and no
      political party supports me. This is what I can say to
      the attack.

      RFI: Iraqi government spokesman Laith Kubba has
      confirmed in a telephone conversation to RFI that the
      Baghdad mayor had indeed filed his resignation and
      that this resignation has been accepted. He added that
      the Council of Ministers would in its next session
      discuss the names of three candidates for this post.

      (Translated by Petr Kubalek and Diar Bamrni)
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