Saturday, May 26, 2007

Maliki names cabinet replacements

"In Baghdad on Thursday, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki named replacements for six cabinet ministers who quit last month on the orders of the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr. At the time, Mr. Sadr said he was taking the action to protest Mr. Maliki’s refusal to back a timeline for the departure of American forces. But the cleric may also have wanted to distance himself from the increasingly unpopular Maliki administration, which completed its first year in office this week with scant progress in curbing violence or improving Iraq’s devastated public services.
Officials in Mr. Maliki’s office described his nominees as technocrats who would bring new levels of efficiency to the ministries, which included the politically delicate portfolios of agriculture, health and transport.
But Mr. Maliki also voiced some of his strongest opposition yet to pressure for his government to meet political 'benchmarks' on bitterly contested issues like the division of oil revenues. 'How can the head of an elected government accept another country imposing restrictions or conditions on its actions?' he said Wednesday in a television interview."

Burns, John F. (The New York Times). Iraqi Tribal Leader Is Killed, and Mourners Are Attacked. May 25, 2007.

posted: saturday, may 26, 2007, 11:02 AM ET
update: saturday, may 26, 2007, 11:19 AM ET


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