Allawi: Iraqi Elections 'Definitely' in 2004

The president of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council said Wednesday his country will "definitely" hold elections in 2004.

A U.S.-drafted resolution being discussed at the United Nations calls on the Governing Council (search) to announce a timetable by Dec. 15 for elections and the drafting of a new constitution.

Asked by reporters at summit of Islamic leaders when elections would be held in Iraq, Iyad Allawi (search) replied, "Definitely, 2004."

"That is part of the planning, that is our aspiration," an aide to Allawi told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, referring to the 2004 schedule.

The 25-member Governing Council has been criticized as being too slow to present reforms and follow up on decisions it has made and the committees it has formed, including the writing of a new constitution.

Secretary of State Colin Powell has said a constitution could be written in six months. But so far the council has made little progress toward setting up a system for choosing a constitutional assembly.