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Iraqi Prime Minister Announces Cabinet Choices

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki, left, arrives to attend the Iraqi parliament session in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Dec. 20, 2010

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki submitted a list of his new Cabinet members late Monday, putting Iraqis one step closer to a new government after a 9-month political stalemate.

Iraq's Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi announced he had received a list of 42 ministers and top government posts. He said parliament will vote on the new ministers on Tuesday.

Mr. Maliki submitted 13 "acting ministers" to fill his list until permanent choices were agreed upon. Temporary members will fill Iraq's top three security posts.

Late last month, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani asked Mr. Maliki to form a new government as part of a deal to end the political stalemate after inconclusive elections. Mr. Talabani gave the prime minister 30 days to choose a new Cabinet.

The Cabinet announcement comes a day after former prime minister Ayad Allawi said he will join Mr. Maliki's coalition government.

Mr. Talabani's request followed a power-sharing agreement among Iraq's Shi'ite, Kurdish and Sunni political leaders that put Mr. Maliki, a Shi'ite, on track for a second term as prime minister.

Mr. Allawi's Iraqiya coalition won two more seats than Mr. Maliki's State of Law coalition in the March 7 elections, but neither won enough for a parliamentary majority.

Mr. Allawi said Sunday he has agreed to accept a job in the government as head of a newly created strategic policy council that will limit Mr. Maliki's authority on various issues. But he warned that his support could end if there is any change to the current power-sharing deal.