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Iraq’s PM to begin forming new Cabinet

BAGHDAD » An official in the Iraqi president’s office says the president will officially ask incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to form the next government.

The long-awaited announcement, which is expected on Thursday, is part of a deal to end an eight-month deadlock over who would lead the country following the inconclusive March 7 elections.

The official from President Jalal Talabani’s office spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Al-Maliki will then have 30 days to form his Cabinet — a challenging task considering the competing interests vying for power in Iraq.

The new government is expected to include all the major factions, including the Kurds, Shiite political parties aligned with Iran and a Sunni-backed bloc.

 

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