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Iraq parliament okays 14 ministers for new cabinet

The Iraqi parliament approved 14 new cabinet ministers Thursday (October 25th) proposed by prime minister-designate Adel Abdel Mahdi, even as key portfolios such as defence and interior affairs remained unassigned, an official said.

A total of 220 lawmakers out of 329 elected in May to a deeply divided parliament, approved Abdel Mahdi's 14 picks, including for the ministries of foreign affairs, finances, and oil, AFP reported.

Among those given the green light on Thursday are Thamer Abbas Ghadbane in the crucial ministry of oil -- Iraq's only source of income. He previously held the portfolio in 2004 and 2005.

In the finance seat is Fouad Hussein, who has close ties to the Kurdish region.

For foreign affairs, Abdel Mahdi has proposed Mohammed Ali al-Hakim, a former ambassador to the UN, and for electricity, Louai al-Khatib, a respected researcher in the energy field.

Parliament will reconvene on November 6th to decide on the remaining ministries.

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