Iraq's prime minister-designate introduced his proposal for a Cabinet that draws in the country's main ethnic and religious groups to the presidential council on Wednesday. The announcement came hours after an Iraqi legislator was assassinated by gunmen who stormed into her house in an eastern Baghdad district.
The 36-member Cabinet list, which includes seven women, will be presented in the National Assembly on Thursday, incoming Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari stated. Al-Jaafari added the list included representatives of all the country's major groups, including Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.
"The Iraqis will find that this government has religious, ethnic, political, and geographic variety, in addition to the participation of women," al-Jaafari told reporters, according to The AP. "Now that the process has started, we will spare no effort to bring back a smile to children's faces."
Al-Jaafari said he has proposed a 36-member Cabinet, including three deputy premiers who lawmakers said would come from each of Iraq's main Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions. A fourth deputy could also be added, al-Jaafari said, offering no explanation.
A formal handover between outgoing Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and his successor will take place in the coming days, al-Jaafari noted.
Lamia Abed Khadouri al-Sakri, who was elected to the National Assembly on the ticket of Allawi's Iraqi List party, was shot and killed by gunmen in her house in Baghdad's Hay Aur neighborhood, police Capt. Ali al-Obeidi said.
Gunmen in Baghdad also opened fire on the convoy of Brig. Gen. Jihad Luaibi, in charge of civil defense at Iraq's Interior Ministry, as he was on his way to work, wounding him and killing two of his bodyguards, Iraqi police said.
Elsewhere, a roadside bomb targeting a joint U.S.-Iraqi military patrol went off Wednesday in Samarra, killing an Iraqi soldier and injuring three others, the Iraqi police said. In another incident, Shiite cleric Qassem Abdul Majid was shot dead in the holy city of Najaf as he drove to work with his wife, police said.