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Iraq PM to fill up cabinet berths at parliament session on Thursday

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Iraq PM to fill up cabinet berths at parliament session on Thursday
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Baghdad: Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi said that he will complete filling his 22 cabinet members at next parliament session slated for Thursday despite intense political differences.

"Thursday session of the Council of Representatives (parliament) will witness completing (approval) of candidates of remaining ministries, and I'm ready to submit new names to the vacant ministries," Xinhua quoted Abdul Mahdi as saying to reporters on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi decided that the next parliament session to be held on Thursday after the lawmakers approved three more ministers of Abdul Mahdi's cabinet.

The lawmakers voted in majority for Qusai al-Suhail as higher education minister, Abdul Amir al-Hamdani as culture minister and Nuri Sabah al-Dulaimi as planning minister, while no confidence was given for the two female candidates for the Migration and Education Ministries.

The latest voting brought to 17 the number of filled posts in Abdul Mahdi's 22-ministry cabinet.

Hassan Khalatti, a lawmaker from Sairoon Coalition, told reporters after Tuesday's session that Abdul Mahdi would submit new candidates of migration and education portfolios to replace the failed candidates within 24 to 48 hours.

As for the remaining three portfolios of defense, interior and justice, Khalatti said "there is no political consensus yet about the candidates of these ministries as the political blocs are still in negotiation about the names."

On Oct. 24, Abdul Mahdi was sworn in as the new prime minister of Iraq after the parliament passed 14 out of 22 cabinet members, while differences among the political blocs prevented the approval of eight other portfolios.

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