Iraqi PM unlikely to form govt until year-end

Nouri al-Maliki is still seeking Cabinet nominations from top politicians.

Updated: Dec 12, 2010, 09:29 AM IST

Irbil: Iraq`s Prime Minister on Saturday said he is still seeking Cabinet nominations from the country`s top politicians, signalling he likely will not form a new government much earlier than the December 25 deadline.

Nouri al-Maliki, a Shi’ite Muslim, had pledged to announce his new government by December 15 and end the political deadlock that began after Parliamentary Elections in March failed to produce a clear winner. The delay announced yesterday reflects al-Maliki`s struggle to cobble together an inclusive government.

But al-Maliki assured political leaders that he remains committed to meeting a 30-day constitutional deadline, ending December 25, to bring together Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions in a government that can overcome enduring sectarian tensions, and appealed for their help to do so.

"I call upon all blocs to quickly present their candidates," al-Maliki said at a meeting of the Kurdish Democratic Party, promising to announce Iraq`s new leadership by December 25.

He also warned politicians not to get distracted with "marginal issues" since the clock is ticking.

"We are facing a constitutional deadline and we will not tolerate exceeding it," he said.