Archive for Saturday, May 20, 2006

Iraqi leader to reveal Cabinet

May 20, 2006

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— Iraq's incoming prime minister failed to reach agreement Friday with political leaders on who will run the key defense and interior ministries but said he will present his Cabinet to parliament anyway with temporary leaders in those posts.

Nouri al-Maliki's announcement came as roadside bombs and other attacks killed 17 Iraqis. His decision to push ahead with forming a government was yet another sign of his determination to waste no time addressing Iraq's security - his administration's top priority.

Already he has shortened the Cabinet appointment process so that with parliament's expected approval today, ministers can be inaugurated the same day.

After meeting with political representatives, the prime

minister-designate said his Cabinet had been settled, except for the two contested slots, and that he would present his nominees to the 275-member parliament today.

Sunni Arabs want to head the Defense Ministry, which runs the army; the Shiites want to head the Interior Ministry, which controls the police.

In the interim, deputy parliament speaker Khalid al-Attiyah said, al-Maliki will serve as interior minister and Salam Zikam Ali al-Zubaie, a Sunni Arab, will head the Defense Ministry. He said they would serve for a week to allow for an agreement on permanent appointments.

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