Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s urgent bid to stitch together a Cabinet from fractious political blocs came under the spotlight yesterday as the parliament met to debate his still incomplete line-up.
He has until Saturday to form a new government that carries the endorsement of parliament.
However, after more than nine months of political deadlock and wrangling following March 7 polls, it was still far from certain yesterday whether Maliki would meet the deadline.
Government spokesman Ali-al Dabbagh told Alhurra television yesterday that the list presented to parliament includes only 29 names, or roughly 70 percent of the total Cabinet.
Maliki himself gave hint of the enormous difficulties he had faced after being appointed caretaker prime minister on Nov. 25 and given 30 days to form a government.
“The process of distributing the ministries was difficult, and forming a national unity government is a difficult job, because you have to find a place for each winner,” Maliki told reporters on Monday. “Tomorrow, the names will be announced, and some names need to be studied.”