However, he is likely to exclude supporters of the outgoing prime minister.

The government will "in principle" be announced on Monday "but I don't think they (supporters of outgoing Prime Minister Iyad Allawi) are likely to be included," Jawad Maliki, number two in al-Jafari's Shia Dawa party said.

"It doesn't look like" they will be taking part, said Foreign Minister Hoshiar Zebari, a Kurd who is expected to remain at his post.

Members of Allawi's Iraq List, which controls 40 seats in the National Assembly, said his party had not been officially informed of the development.

Allawi supporters said on Friday they would only join a new
government if they were given five cabinet posts, including a deputy premiership.

Elsewhere, The New York Times reported that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney, frustrated by the political deadlock in Iraq, were pushing top Kurdish and Shia politicians to come together and form a new government.