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Iraqi Premier Names Oil, Electricity Ministers

Premier al-Ja'fari Baghdad, 6 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iraqi Transitional Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari has settled on the appointments for the posts of oil and electricity ministers, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) and Iraqi media reported on 4 and 5 May.

The posts have been vacant since al-Ja'fari named his cabinet on 28 April (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 2 May 2005), as political groups wrangled over the appointments.

RFI reported on 4 May that Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum will serve as oil minister. Bahr al-Ulum, a Shi'ite, previously filled the position under the Iraqi Governing Council. Abd al-Muhsin Shalash will serve as electricity minister. Shalash, also a Shi'ite, is head of the Iraqi Free Society Party.

Al-Ja'fari met with his cabinet on 5 May, KUNA reported. The meeting focused on security matters and the state budget, according to a government statement.