Iraqi lawmakers approve new government
Baghdad: Iraqi lawmakers have unanimously approved a new government to be headed by incumbent Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The long-awaited vote on the new government ends nine months of political deadlock after an inconclusive parliament election in March.
Lawmakers approved a total of 29 ministers including al-Maliki to form the new government.
The remainder of the 42-member Cabinet is made up of acting ministers for now.
Iraqi women lawmakers are protesting in parliament against the new, mostly male Cabinet.
They staged the protest at the opening of the parliament session Tuesday where lawmakers are expected to vote on the new government submitted by the prime minister Monday.
A senior woman lawmaker, Alaa Talabani, read out a statement of protest that said she knew of only one woman nominated — for the women`s affairs ministry. But the final number of women in the Cabinet lineup is still not known.
Despite this, Talabini said women lawmakers would vote for the new government so as to not hold the political process hostage.
By law, a quarter of Iraq`s 325 parliament posts go to women, but that has not translated into similar representation in the Cabinet.
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