Iraq Gets New Government as Bombs Kill 24

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by KenH, May 20, 2006.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    Iraq gets new government as bombs kill 24

    By Mariam Karouny

    Iraq's Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pledged to rein in sectarian violence and rally his divided nation behind a unity government that was inaugurated on Saturday as bomb attacks killed 24 people.

    Ending months of deadlock, Maliki's cabinet was approved by a show of hands, minister by minister, after a turbulent start to the parliamentary session, when some minority Sunni leaders spoke out against the last-minute deal and several walked out.

    Eleventh-hour battles over the key posts of interior and defense left those jobs vacant for now, filled respectively by Maliki, a tough-talking Shi'ite Islamist, and his Sunni deputy prime minister, Salam al-Zobaie.

    The main Sunni Arab leadership, which controls the bulk of the Sunnis' 50-odd seats in the 275-member chamber, held firm after the walkout by the dissidents. Washington hopes a Sunni presence at last in a full, sovereign government can draw Saddam Hussein's once dominant minority away from revolt into politics.

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