Iraqi parliament backs key ministers

Defence and interior minister candidates put forward by Nuri al-Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq, have been approved by parliament.

    Jawad al-Bulani becomes Iraq's new interior minister

    Jawad al-Bulani, a Shia, was chosen to lead the interior ministry.

    In order to satisfy several leaders within his coalition, al-Maliki had put forward two candidates for the interior ministry post.

    Al-Bulani is a former air force engineer and told parliament that he left the armed forces in 1999. In 2004, he was a deputy member of Iraq's interim governing council set up after the US-led invasion. He was also a member of parliament in 2005.

    The interior ministry was heavily criticised under the previous minister, whom Sunni leaders accused of sanctioning death squads, a charge he denied.

    General Abd al-Qadir Jasim al-Ubaidi, a Sunni, was approved as defence minister. He served in the army under Saddam Hussein but was demoted when he opposed the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. 

    Al-Ubaidi told parliament he retired from the army in 1992 and two years later was arrested and put before a military court.

    When Saddam was toppled in 2003, he joined the new Iraqi army and became commander of its ground forces.

    "I never belonged to any of the present political groups," al-Ubaidi told the assembly. "I do not carry any sectarian title. I'm here for all Iraqis, not for one sect."

    The two main security jobs were left temporarily vacant when al-Maliki's government of national unity took office on May 20 because his coalition partners were unable to agree on candidates.

    Agreement has also been reached for Shirwan al-Waili to become the new minister for national security.

    Al-Maliki has said he wanted to choose non-sectarian ministers to run his national unity government.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.