Iraq’s parliament approved a new government on Wednesday, after six months without one, as parties squabbled until the last minute over cabinet seats in backroom deals, according to foreign media.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khadimi, Iraq’s intelligence chief and a former journalist, will head the government but will begin his term without a full cohort of ministers after several candidates were rejected.
Kadhimi’s candidates for cabinet posts, including interior, defense, finance, and electricity, passed with the support of the majority of legislators present.
Voting on the oil and foreign ministries was delayed as the parties failed to agree on candidates. They rejected Khadmi’s choices for justice, agriculture, and trade.
“The security, stability, and blossoming of Iraq is our path,” Kadhimi tweeted after parliament voted for his cabinet.
He said his priorities would be tackling the coronavirus pandemic and holding to account those who killed protesters in previous months of anti-government unrest.
Iraqi officials say Kadhimi is acceptable to the United States and Iran, whose battle for influence over Iraq has boiled into an open confrontation in the past year.