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April 21, 2006

Breakthrough In Iraq: Competing Factions Agree On PM, Other Officials, Seem Ready To Form Government

Good news:

Shiite politicians agreed Friday to nominate Jawad al-Maliki as prime minister, replacing the incumbent in a bid to clear the way for a long-delayed new government.

Al-Maliki is a top ally of outgoing Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, whose nomination had sparked sharp opposition from Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders and caused a four-month deadlock.

Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish parties later agreed on nominees to fill the other top government posts of government, Shiite lawmaker Ridha Jawad Taqi said. The quick agreement was an indication that the minority groups were ready to accept al-Maliki’s nomination in what would be a breakthrough in efforts to form a national unity government.

...

Shiite spokesman Humam Hammoudi confirmed al-Maliki’s nomination and said the Shiites have “a positive stance” toward Kurd and Sunni nominees for president and parliament speaker.

...

Al-Maliki won the nomination with agreement from six of the [Shiite] parties, said another SCIRI official, Ridha Jawad Taqi. The seventh party, Fadhila, had presented its own candidate, but only five of seven parties were needed to win a “consensus” agreement on a nominee.

Some Sunni Arab and Kurdish parties already have indicated they will accept al-Maliki, after fiercely opposing a second term for al-Jaafari, who bowed out Thursday.

I've given up hopes on some watershed political event greatly reducing the insurgency, but this certainly cannot hurt.

Thanks to Jack Straw.

Who says, "Shhh, don't let anyone know." Don't worry, Jack, the media won't.

Tonight on Hardball: Chris Matthews discusses his favorite 1970's arena-rock bands with permanent guest co-host Joe Wilson. After debating Boston vs. Blue Oyster Cult, they'll rehash how evil the Bush regime is.


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posted by Ace at 04:11 PM

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