Iraq News

Iraqi parliament appoints 3 new ministers

The Iraqi parliament approved three new ministers on Monday (June 24th) but the post of education minister remains unfilled eight months after Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was appointed, AFP reported.

The legislature gave its backing to Abdul Mahdi's picks to head the defence, interior and justice ministries.

Abdul Mahdi won parliament's backing for Yassin al-Yasseri as interior minister and General Najah al-Shemmari to head up the defence ministry. Faruq Ameen was confirmed as justice minister.

A woman had been put forward as education minister but was not approved -- parliamentary sources say another vote is expected in the coming days.

Al-Shemmari, who like all Iraq's defence ministers since 2003 comes from Mosul, was previously one of the commanders of the country's elite Counter-Terrorism Service.

President Barham Saleh handed Abdul Mahdi the task of forming a new government last year, following the country's victory over the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), as several coalitions were jockeying for pre-eminence.

A veteran of Iraqi politics and an economist by training, Abdul Mahdi, 76, was regarded as sufficiently independent to be able to assemble a government despite fractures in the ruling elites.

But he has faced a complex task building a government which faces the enormous challenges of rebuilding a country ravaged by three years of fighting ISIS.

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