Deadline: Iraqi Vote on New Government


Iraq parliament to vote on new govt May 20

BAGHDAD - The time has finally arrived!

"Maliki’s 30-day deadline for forming a government expire on Monday. Although minority Sunni, secular and other parties, including members of Maliki’s own Shia Islamist bloc, said publicly they were still holding out for concessions, negotiators said agreement was close."

As parliament wound up for the day, one member asked speaker Mahmoud Al Mashhadani if the next session, scheduled for Saturday, would include a vote on the government.

Mashhadani replied: “That’s what we have from the prime minister’s office; we’ve had a note saying the prime minister wants to present his government to parliament on Saturday.”

A broad breakdown of which of the five main groups -- Shias, Kurds, two Sunni blocs and the secular Iraqi List -- get which of the 30 or so ministries has largely been agreed, but there are still disputes on some posts, negotiators said.

There are numerous names circulating for the actual government personnel, with each party sometimes proposing two or three people for ministries they expect to control to give Maliki the chance to choose which candidate best serves the interests of a consensus administration.

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