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.

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 water resources), 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.

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