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Iraqi Prime Minister Announces New Cabinet

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has submitted a list of his new cabinet and is ready to seat a government more than nine months after inconclusive elections.

With the list, Maliki has met a looming constitutional deadline to form the new government by December 25.

Maliki, speaking at a news conference in Baghdad with parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, said he would not allow any backtracking.

"I would like to confirm that we are actively working, and we will not allow [the situation] to go backward," Maliki said.

"The government of national unity has established common ground for the joint work in order to promote the national [interest]. I am very happy, and I would like to tell Iraqis the good news, and I hope to exert the utmost effort with the new government."

Nujaifi said he expected lawmakers to vote on the proposed cabinet as early as December 21.

Shi'ite and minority Sunni and Kurdish factions agreed last month to allow Maliki to have a second term as prime minister.

compiled from news agencies