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Shias nominate Jaafari as Iraq PM
by BBC (reposted)
Sunday Feb 12th, 2006 11:28 AM
The Shia bloc set to lead Iraq's first full-term government has picked PM Ibrahim Jaafari as its candidate for prime minister in the new cabinet.
Mr Jaafari won by one vote over Vice-President Adel Abdel Mahdi.

Each was backed by two key factions in the United Iraqi Alliance, which fell just short of a majority in the poll.

Correspondents say the question for Mr Jaafari is if he can win the support of Sunni and Kurd politicians, who have been critical of his time in office.

His transitional government has been widely accused of poor performance and discrimination against Iraq's Sunni Arabs.


The UIA had delayed a decision on a candidate until Sunday, after failing to agree on a choice in talks on Saturday.

The discussions among factions within the umbrella UIA came after final poll results confirmed the alliance was the biggest bloc in the new parliament.

Mr Mahdi narrowly lost out as prime minister to his UIA colleague and Islamic Dawa Party leader, Mr Jaafari, after elections for the transitional period last January.

Correspondents say Mr Jaafari is almost certain to lead the new government, given that the UIA is the biggest bloc in the new parliament.

But his appointment must first be confirmed by parliament, and formal negotiations with other groups about forming a coalition government have yet to begin.

It will be Iraq's first full-term government since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.

The two previous governments - run by Iyad Allawi and Mr Jaafari - were interim administrations.

Mr Jaafari was named as prime minister by Iraq's newly inaugurated presidential team in April 2005.

His cabinet oversaw the hotly debated drafting of a new constitution, approved by voters in October 2005.

The charter paved the way for parliamentary polls in December.

In a separate development, a lawyer for Saddam Hussein has said he was wrong to report that the former leader was to start a hunger strike.

The Jordan-based team said earlier that Saddam and his seven co-defendants were taking action from Monday in protest at the conduct of their trial.
by Al Bawaba (reposted)
Sunday Feb 12th, 2006 11:30 AM
Shiite lawmakers Sunday chose Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to lead Iraq's new government, Shiite officials said. Jaafari Iraq voteAccording to the AP, Al-Jaafari won 64 votes, one more than Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, officials said. There were two abstentions.

More than 100 lawmakers from the Shiite coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance, gathered to vote.

Shiite lawyers cast their votes at the heavily guarded home of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the head of Abdul-Mahdi's party.

Al-Jaafari, a physician, is a member of the Dawa Party and spent years in exile in Iran and Britain.


The chief lawyer representing Saddam Hussein said Sunday he was wrong in stating that the former Iraqi president and seven co-defendants would start a hunger strike to protest the "illegality" of the court hearing their case.

According to initial reports, the protest was to start on Monday. Khamis al Aubeidi, a leading member of Saddam's defense team, was quoted as saying: "Saddam and his followers will start a hunger strike from tomorrow, protesting the illegitimate procedures and bad treatment by the court." Later, he told The Associated Press "I checked and I was told that the sources were not credible and that there will be no hunger strike on Monday." al-Dulaimi .

Al-Dulaimi said all eight defendants would still boycott the resumption of their trial Monday in Baghdad.

British abuse

Meanwhile, an investigation is underway into a video which apparently shows British soldiers abusing helpless Iraqi civilians. The film shows a group of teenagers being kicked, punched and hit with batons. One can be heard pleading for mercy.

Pictures have been published in the News Of The World, which claims 42 blows were counted in one minute. iraq abuseThe tape - filmed during street riots in Basra in 2004 - had been screened at the troops' base before being handed over by a whistleblower.

Four Iraqi youths were dragged from the street into an Army compound, where they were beaten. The British newspaper said the scenes were filmed by a corporal who encouraged colleagues in a running commentary.

One soldier is also seen to kick a dead Iraqi in the face.
by ALJ
Sunday Feb 12th, 2006 11:32 AM
Iraq's dominant Shia political movement has chosen Ibrahim al-Jaafari as their candidate for prime minister in the country's first permanent post-Saddam Hussein government.

Officials said that al-Jaafari had won 64 votes on Sunday, narrowly defeating Adel Abdul Mahdi, the vice-president, who got 63 in a ballot after the group failed to reach an agreement by consensus on Saturday.

According to the Iraqi constitution, the new president will formally designate the choice of the biggest bloc in parliament after the assembly convenes.

Shia lawyers cast their votes at the heavily guarded home of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the head of Abdul Mahdi's party.

The contest for prime minister became a two-horse race after Nadim Jabiri of the Fadhila Party and Hussein Shahristani from an independent Shia bloc decided to withdraw.

Alliance victory

Al-Jaafari, a doctor, is a member of the Dawa Party and spent years in exile in Iran and Britain before returning to his homeland after the US-led coalition ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003.

His government, which took office in April, had been widely criticised for failing to improve the country's crumbling infrastructure or deal effectively with security.