The new National Assembly of Iraq held its first meeting on Monday (30 June).
GV INTERIOR Iraqi President Saddam Hussein entering parliament building, applause audience applauding.
CU President Hussein speaking in Arabic.
GV Audience (President's voice continues over). (4 SHOTS)
GV President Hussein leaving through entrance applause from audience.
GV Delegates from audience speaking. (2 SHOTS)
TV PAN Delegates in parliament building.
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Background: The new National Assembly of Iraq held its first meeting on Monday (30 June). Its 250 members had been chosen ten days earlier in the country's first general elections since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1958.
SYNOPSIS: President Saddam Hussein arrived to address the new Assembly with the knowledge that most of its members were his supporters. Officially they had campaigned int he election as independents. But, like the President and his government, the majority are, in fact, members of the Arab Baath Socialist Party. The Baathist Party has held power in Iraq since 1963.
Saddam Hussein became President in 1979 and during the campaign, he had toured the country, promising voters that the regime was now offering them a genuine breath of democracy. Four of the fourteen members of the ruling Revolutionary Command Council stood for election to the Assembly, and were returned. So did six members of President Saddam Hussein's government, and four were safely elected. But two junior ministers without portfolio -- both members of Iraq's Kurdish minority -- were defeated at the polls. Ministers have no need to be members of the Assembly.
After they had heard the President, the members of the Assembly -- including the 14 women elected - turned to the task of choosing their own officers: a chairman, vice-chairman and secretary-general. As their chairman, or speaker, members chose Mr. Naim Haddad, who is a member of the Revolutionary Command Council and a Deputy Prime Minister. Close association of government and parliament is therefore assured.