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Iraqi cabinet selection delayed again

[JURIST] Iraqi politicians again delayed naming a government on Monday, prolonging a three-month political vacuum in the country. Jawad al-Maliki, a top member of the main Shiite alliance that won January's elections, said wrangling over appointments to key ministries had put off Monday's expected announcement of a proposed cabinet. Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis are all especially concerned about the leadership of security and defense ministries as well as the crucial oil ministry. The deadlock has prompted the US to take a more vocal role in Iraqi politics. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday urged Iraqi politicians to move more quickly to form a government [Reuters report]. The cabinet and the prime minister have to be approved by a simple majority in the 275-seat National Assembly. Lawmakers have said the Shi'ite alliance was expected to take 17 of a likely 32 ministries. The Kurds were expected to receive eight posts and the Sunnis the rest. Reuters has more.

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