Iraq parliament rejects defence, interior minister nominees

Iraq`s parliament failed to approve Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi`s candidates for the sensitive posts of defence and interior ministers in a vote on Tuesday, according to state television.

Baghdad: Iraq`s parliament failed to approve Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi`s candidates for the sensitive posts of defence and interior ministers in a vote on Tuesday, according to state television.

The men - Riad al-Ghareeb nominated for the post of interior minister and Jaber al-Jaberi as defence minister - did not win the needed majority vote, it said.

Abadi received parliamentary approval for most cabinet positions last week. Officials said parliament would vote again on the two posts on Thursday.

Mithal al-Alusi, a prominent secular politician, said that the main Shi`ite alliance prevented the appointments.

The Badr Organisation, a powerful political and paramilitary group with close ties to former premier Nuri al-Maliki, which is part of the alliance, has coveted the interior ministry post, and political sources said they were angered by Abadi`s choice.

"The National Alliance objected, saying that the position of the interior ministry is their right. They refrained from voting which led to the failure of the candidates to get enough votes," Alusi told Reuters.