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Iraq lawmakers approve government of new Prime Minister Kadhimi

The speaker of Iraq's parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi meets with Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi before the vote on the new government at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, May 6, 2020. Iraqi Parliament Media Office/Handout via REUTERS reuters_tickers
This content was published on May 6, 2020 - 23:24

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's parliament approved a majority of ministers presented by Prime Minister-designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Wednesday, lawmakers said, ushering in a new government after months of deadlock.

Kadhimi's picks for interior, defence, finance, electricity and other key portfolios passed during a parliament vote on the cabinet, the lawmakers said. Several ministerial candidates were rejected, however, meaning Kadhimi will begin his term without a full government.

Former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who has been leading a caretaker government, resigned last year as anti-government protesters took to the streets in the thousands, demanding jobs and the departure of Iraq's ruling elite. They accuse the political class that took over after the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein of corruption that has driven the country into dysfunction and economic ruin.

The battle over government portfolios since Abdul Mahdi's resignation in November prevented two previous nominees for prime minister from forming a cabinet.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed and John Davison; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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