Iraqi lawmakers approved a new government on Wednesday after six months without one as parties squabbled until the last minute over Cabinet seats in backroom deals, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraq’s intelligence chief and a former journalist, will head the new government. He will begin his term without a full Cabinet, however, after several ministerial candidates were rejected.
Former prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who has been leading a caretaker government, resigned last year as anti-government protesters took to the streets in their thousands, demanding jobs and the departure of Iraq’s ruling elite.
They accuse the political class that took over after the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein of corruption that has driven the country into dysfunction and economic ruin.
The battle over government portfolios since Abdul Mahdi’s resignation in November prevented two previous nominees for prime minister from forming a Cabinet.
Kadhimi’s candidates for Cabinet posts including interior, defence, finance and electricity passed with votes from a majority of lawmakers present.
Voting on the oil and foreign ministries was delayed as the parties failed to agree on candidates. They rejected the incoming premier’s picks for justice, agriculture and trade.