Iraqi parliament reconvenes to form new gov't

16:22, November 22, 2010      

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Iraq's lawmakers resumed the parliament sessions on Sunday to continue the efforts to form a new government after the political blocs reached a power-sharing deal more than eight months after the country's parliamentary elections.

Sunni Arab Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi opened the third parliament session shortly after midday and the lawmakers discussed the formation of the council of representatives' committees along with other issues concerning the performance of the parliament.

In the latest session, newly-elected President Jalal Talabani is not expected to officially ask Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to form his cabinet until Thursday, according to the official television of Iraqia which quoted Maliki's advisor Yassin Majid as saying.

Talabani's delay was aimed at giving the prime minister- designate more time to negotiate ministerial portfolios with parliamentary blocs, as Maliki will have 30 days to form his cabinet from the date of receiving Talabani's letter, Majid said.

Hassan al-Senied, a Shiite lawmaker from Maliki's State of Law coalition, said "the political blocs will start intensified talks in the coming days to form the new cabinet."

"The National Alliance (Shiite religious group) is willing to give security ministries to independent and qualified ministers to keep these sensitive ministries away from being politicized," Senied said.

Sunday's parliamentary session came after the rival blocs agreed on a power-sharing deal that allowed Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki, a Shiite, and President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, to keep their posts and named Osama al-Nujaifi parliament speaker.

The deal also included drafting a law for the yet-to-be-created National Council for Strategic Policies, which is a body tasked to oversee security issues. The body will be headed by Ayad Allawi, who was in fierce struggle to take the post of premier after his Iraqia bloc narrowly won in the parliamentary elections on March 7.

Source: Xinhua


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