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Iraq government posts almost divided up

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The post of presidency is still locked up Shiites will hold 16 to 17 ministries, Kurds will take 7 to 8 ministries, Sunnis will be awarded 4 to 6 ministries.


BAGHDAD - Iraq's Shiites will take 16 to 17 ministries in the next government, the Kurds will hold seven to eight ministries and the country's Sunni minority will be awarded four to six ministries, a Shiite negotiator said Monday.

Kurdish sources confirmed the numbers and predicted an agreement on the government should be reached by Sunday.

The Shiites will take the interior and finance ministries, along with the cabinet post of national security advisor, said Maryan Rayes, a negotiator with the United Iraqi Alliance, which won 146 seats in the new 275-member parliament.

The Kurds, with 77 seats, the second largest bloc in parliament, will receive seven to eight ministries, including the foreign ministry and probably oil, Rayes said.

A Kurdish source also confirmed the Kurds were likely to get eight ministries, including oil and foreign affairs.

The source said other posts that were locked up included the presidency, to be held by Jalal Talabani, and the post of deputy prime minister.

The source said he expected a government would probably be announced by Sunday.

One complication that could change the allotment of slots is whether outgoing prime minister Iyad Allawi's list decides to join the government, which remains unclear, the Kurdish source said.

For her part, Rayes said Iraq's Sunni minority, who boycotted the election, would probably be awarded between four and six posts, while the Christian and Turkmen minorities would receive one ministry each.

Rayes said she thought it was doubtful Allawi or his followers would join the government.

Created by anita
Last modified 2005-04-09 11:52 PM

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