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New Iraqi PM, two-thirds of proposed ministers sworn in

New Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and almost two-thirds of his ministerial picks were sworn in on Wednesday, but lawmakers failed to reach a consensus on the rest of the cabinet, postponing the votes to November 6.

According to Press TV, out of the 22-member cabinet proposed by the 76-year-old prime minister, 14 picks won a vote of confidence, but the parliament did not make any decision about the rest, including the ministers of interior and defense.

Thamer Ghadhban became Oil Minister and veteran Kurdish politician Fuad Hussein was sworn in as the Finance Minister. Mohammed Ali al-Hakeem was elected as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Naim al-Rubaye as Communication Minster, Alaa al-Alwani as Minister of Health, and Abdullah Luaibi as Transport Minister.

Ahmed Riyadh (Minister of Youth and Sports), Bassem al-Rubaye (Minister of Labor and Social Affairs), Luay al-Khatteeb (Minister of Electricity), Mohammed Hashim (Minister of Trade), Jamal al-Adili (Minister of WaterR), Salih Abdullah Jabouri (Minister of Industry), Saleh al-Hassani (Minister of Agriculture), and Bangin Rekani (Minister of Housing and Reconstruction) were the other ministers approved by the parliament.

Before voting on the remaining eight posts could take place, lawmakers from Muqtada al-Sadr’s bloc Sairoon, Haider al-Abadi’s Nasr Alliance, Vice-President Ayad Allawi’s Wataniya, and Sunni Muslim blocs left the room, arguing that they were not satisfied with the rest of the candidates.

“It’s enough to approve 14 ministers,” Nasr lawmaker Ali Sined said.

During the Wednesday session, some MPs reportedly accused proposed ministers of corruption.

While the Iraqi Constitution gives the new prime minister until November 2 to form his government, the Iraqi parliament is to reconvene on November 6 to vote on the remaining members of the cabinet, Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi said.

PM Abdul-Mahdi faces the daunting task of rebuilding much of the country after a devastating war against Daesh, as well as solving acute economic problems and power and water shortages.

The premier on Wednesday detailed his agenda for the next four years in a 122-page document, which lists plans for developing the war-torn country, settling differences with the Kurdistan Regional Government, boosting the economy and reducing poverty.

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