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Home > News > The Gulf War II > Report

Iraq: Minister rejects post

May 09, 2005 13:10 IST


Iraq's new government faced a setback when a Sunni leader nominated as human rights minister rejected the post Sunday.

He was among six ministers approved by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's parliament to fill posts that had remained vacant owing to squabbling between the Shias, Sunnis and Kurds, three main ethnic outfits in Iraq.

But rejecting the post of human rights minister, Sunni Arab leader Hashim al-Shibli told a news conference that "Concentrating on sectarian identities leads to divisions in the society and state, and for that reason I respectfully decline the post."

The other Cabinet members named Sunday were:

  • Abed Mutlak al-Jiburi, a Sunni, as a deputy prime minister.
  • Saadoun al-Duleimi, a Sunni, as defence minister; (He was a former lieutenant colonel under Saddam Hussein)
  • Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum, a Shia, as oil minister;
  • Mihsin Shlash, a Shia, as electricity minister;
  • Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni, as industry minister;

Prime Minister al-Jaafari hopes to appoint a woman to the post of the fourth deputy premier, which remains vacant.

Al-Jaafari now has till mid-August to draft a new constitution, which will be put to a referendum. If it is approved, new elections will be held before December 15.

Meanwhile, in what has become an almost daily routine over the past few week, a suicide car bomb attack in southern Baghdad killed two Iraqi police officers and two civilians on Monday.About nine people were wounded when the bomber drove into two police cars at a checkpoint in al-Darwish district, said the BBC.

At least seven US soldiers were killed in a series of bomb attacks over the weekend, while a senior transport ministry official was shot dead by rebels.


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