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Iraq finally approves new government with Maliki as PM
December 21, 2010
BAGHDAD: Iraq’s Parliament approved Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his new government Tuesday, nine months after an inconclusive election left politics in limbo and delayed investments to rebuild the country after years of war.
Lawmakers voted Maliki and a new multi-party slate of ministers into office, elevating Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani to deputy prime minister for energy, and leaving in place Kurdish veteran Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari.
Highlighting the ethnic and sectarian divides that pervade the war-ravaged country, Parliament had to postpone the vote Monday after last-minute factional disputes and political horse-trading over posts delayed the government’s formation.
As Maliki read out the chosen ministers’ names one by one, Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi scanned the chamber for raised hands and said “approved by the majority” each time. The speaker did not ask for a show of hands from those opposing the candidate or abstaining from the vote.
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