The Bush administration, having established a firm ally of its agenda as Iraq's new Prime Minister, agrees to settle
for a critic in the ceremonial position of President - after the man they wanted for the post turned down the job:
Mr. Yawar is the leader of the Shamar tribe, one of the largest groups in Iraq. He is an engineer who was educated in the United States and spent several years in exile in Saudi Arabia. American and Iraqi officials had agreed that the presidency ought to go to a Sunni Arab, the country's second-largest group. Dr. Alawi, who will lead the government as prime minister, is a Shiite Muslim, part of Iraq's largest demographic group. In recent televised interviews, Mr. Yawar has criticized the American presence and said that the worsening conditions in Iraq were due to the blunderings of the American military. Mr. Yawar's appointment happened after Mr. Pachachi refused the post.
At a news conference today at his home in the upscale Mansour neighborhood, Mr. Pachachi confirmed that he had been offered the office of president but had turned it down. "This position is an honorary position, and the Iraqi people need someone in this office who has the most public support," Mr. Pachachi said.
Some would say it was more important that the person in the office that's more than honorary have more public support...