New Cabinet Al Hayat Says That Grand

New Cabinet

Al-Hayat says that Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani had pressed for 10 of the cabinet posts in the new government of Ibrahim Jaafari to go to Sunni Arabs. In the end, only 6 did, with 8 for the Kurds and some 16 or 17 (reports differ) for Shiites. Some 7 are women.

Al-Hayat was told by insiders that the negotiations with the Sunni Arabs were made more difficult because they insisted on an end to debaathification and the adoption of a stronger Arab nationalist line by the new government. Apparently two possible candidates for minister of defense, which went to the Sunni Arabs, were dropped because of Shiite suspicions that they had Baath party links.

Ash-Sharq al-Awsat says that there are 32 cabinet members, while wire service reports give as many as 36. SA identifies some cabinet members, which other sources do not:
Bayan Sulagh, Minister of Interior [Sulagh is a Turkmen and former minister of housing, and I’d be shocked if he was really given Interior, which the Badr Organization wanted); Ali Abdul Amir Allawi, Finance; Ra`d al-Haris, Electricity; Abdul Falah al-Sudani, Education; Sami al-Muzaffar, Higher Education; Abdul Mutallib al-Rubai`i, Health; Abdul Husain Shandal, Justice; Salam Awdah al-Maliki, Transportation; Suhail Abid Jaafar al-Faili [Kurdish Shiite], Immigrants and Immigration; Talib `Aziz, Youth and Sports; Abdul Karim al-Anizi [Islamic Dawa], National Security; Hashim al-Hashimi, Provincial Affairs; Alaa al-Safi, Parliamentary Affairs; Ali al-Bahadili, Agriculture; Hushyar Zibari, Foreign Ministry; Latif Rashid, Water; Abd al-Basit Turki, Trade; Bakhtiar Amin, Human Rights; Narmin Uthman, Labor and Social Affairs; Javan Fuad Masoum, Communications; Nasrin Barwari, Municipalities and Public Works; Fadil Abbas, Housing and Reconstruction. Jaafari’s choices for a number of ministries, especially those to be filled by Sunni Arabs, still have not been announced or discovered by the press. Some ministries, such as petroleum, remain controversial, and may be filled by an interim appointment until the issue can be resolved (the Sadrist Fadila Party wants the petroleum ministry).

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