Announcement of Iraq's new government delayed
The death toll from Sunday's well-coordinated car bombings rose on Monday to 29. Meanwhile, gunmen launched two separate attacks aimed at Iraq's oil industry in the north, setting fire to pumps near Kirkuk and opening fire on police guarding a convoy of tanker trucks, officials said. Two policemen were wounded, police said.
On the political front, the unveiling of Iraq's new government was again delayed because of last-minute disputes between political factions, a senior Shiite politician said. "In principle we were to have announced the new government today, but last minutes details are preventing this," said Jawad Maliki, the number two in Shiite Dawa party led by prime minister-designate Ibrahim Jaafari.
"Maybe the government will be announced tomorrow," he told reporters on Monday, according to the AFP.
Senior officials had earlier suggested Jaafari could unveil a cabinet based on a broad coalition of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.
Senior officials have suggested Jaafari has given up on attempting to include supporters of outgoing Prime Minister Iyad Allawi party in the new cabinet.
The New York Times reported Monday that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney, frustrated by the political deadlock, were pushing top Kurdish and Shiite politicians to come together and form a new government.
- Shiite politicians agree on PM candidate
- Iraq: American death toll down as party leaders call to oust PM
- Iraq: New cabinet to include 36 members as MP assassinated in Baghdad
- Political crisis in Iraq as parties demand to replace PM
- Iraq PM presents Cabinet list as Pentagon admits number of attacks rises