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Iraq's Oil Minister Nominee Withdraws Candidacy

The nominee for the post of Iraq's oil minister, Nizar Saleem Numan, who is a Kurd, has withdrawn his candidacy apparently because he had not been formally put forward by the main Kurdish groups.

"Because there is no political agreement over the form of the future government, I withdraw my candidacy for the ministry of oil position, "Numan told reporters on April 1.

Numan was among 14 new cabinet minister nominees in Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's proposed cabinet.

Abadi said the candidates are the kind of policy experts protesters have been demanding for months to fight corruption in the government.

On March 31, Abadi presented his choices to the Parliament.

The announcement prompted influential Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to end a two-week sit-in by his followers in Baghdad's Green Zone, where they had been demanding the replacement of political cronies in the cabinet with technocrats.

Lawmakers, who thwarted previous efforts at reform proposed by Abadi, said they would take up to ten days to respond to the new cabinet plan.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP