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Iraq Parliament to Vote Monday on PM-elect's Cabinet

  • Reuters

FILE - Iraq's Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi speaks during a news conference in Baghdad.

FILE - Iraq's Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi speaks during a news conference in Baghdad.

Iraqi parliament is scheduled to be convened on Monday night to vote on Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi's proposed cabinet, the parliament speaker Selim al-Jabouri's office said on Sunday.

State television also reported the tentative plan to hold the session. The approval of the cabinet could still be delayed amid last-minute wrangling and brinkmanship over posts.

The make-up of the cabinet has still not been revealed, but Abadi is expected to include representatives of all the country's religious and ethnic components in a bid to save Iraq from collapse.

If a government is not agreed, this will mean a return to the start of the contentious process, leaving Iraq rudderless at a time of crisis.

The prime minister designate was picked on August 11 as a replacement for outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who dropped his bid for a third term after Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish political blocs rejected him.

The prime minister has until September 10 to submit his government for approval, or Iraq's president must select another candidate for premier.

Undone by Islamic State group

Maliki, who won the most votes of any candidate in April's national election, was undone by the Islamic State group's seizure of large sections of northern Iraq and the almost total collapse of the Iraqi military almost three months ago.

About one-third of the country is under Islamic State domination, while the self-rule Kurdistan region continues to examine whether or not to declare independence.

Abadi said on his Twitter account on Saturday that "cabinet formation is in its final stages," but that the process had been held up by blocs that either delayed presenting candidates or nominated people who were unqualified, the French news agency AFP reported.

Maliki's website on the same day said that the negotiations were "overshadowed by party and sectarian and nationalist rivalry, and the national spirit was unfortunately absent."

One apparent point of contention was the Badr bloc - which has a powerful associated militia that is close to Iran - angling for the defense ministry.

Some materials for this report came from AFP.

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