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In Iraq, a new government could be around the corner

Public Policy

Iraq moved a couple of steps closer Saturday to forming a government after a maddening year marked by political squabbling and paralysis.

Parliament on Saturday lifted a ban on three politicians who were barred from participating in Iraqi elections because of purported links to Saddam Hussein’s banned political movement — the Baath Party.

Incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki plans to present his new Cabinet to parliament Monday for approval, state TV reported.

The moves promise to end Iraq’s political stalemate and lead to the installation of a new government.

The inconclusive national elections took place on March 7, but politicians, most particularly al-Maliki and former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi were unable to forge a compromise for a government.

The three reinstated politicians — Saleh al-Mutlaq, Dhafer al-Ani, and Jamal al-Karbooli — read a pledge condemning crimes by the Baath Party and its members.

Out of the 170 parliament members present, 109 voted to lift the ban.

The lifting of the ban was a top requirement made by al-Maliki’s rival bloc, al-Iraqiya — led by Allawi.

The demand is part of the U.S.-brokered power-sharing deal forged between the competing blocs last month.


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