The "Law of Administering the Iraqi State for the Transitional Period" will become the country's fundamental law until the adoption of a permanent constitution in late 2005.
Opening the ceremony of signing the law, present chairman of the Iraqi Interim Governing Council, Mohammed Bakhr al Ulyum called it "a turning point in Iraq's history, a step to the return of full sovereignty and the establishment of a constitutional, multi-party, united, federative, democratic rule in the country by the end of 2005." The law, he said, terminates Iraq's occupation and returns sovereignty to the Iraqi people on June 30 this year.
The law confirms Iraq's unity, gives equal rights to all Iraqis despite religious and ethnic origin. It recognizes Islam as the state's main religion and the basis of its legislation, approves the federative principle of state structure, guarantees fair distribution of revenues from Iraq's natural resources, guarantees the return to the country of persons who were deprived of Iraqi citizenship under the previous regime or forced to leave the country.
The interim constitution also recognizes the important role of women in building a new Iraq, their active participation in all spheres of society's life and confirms their equal rights with men.