Timeline: Iraq votes on new government

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq’s parliament approved a new government on Tuesday, nine months after an inconclusive election left politics in limbo and delayed investments to rebuild the country after years of war [ID:nLDE6BK12I].

Here are some key events since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

March 20, 2003 - U.S. and British forces invade from Kuwait.

April 9 - U.S. troops take Baghdad, Saddam disappears.

July 13 - The Iraqi Governing Council -- 25 Iraqis chosen under U.S. supervision -- holds inaugural meeting in Baghdad.

August 19 - Suicide truck bomb at U.N. headquarters in Baghdad kills 22 people, including U.N. envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

December 13 - U.S. troops capture Saddam near Tikrit. U.S. governor of Iraq Paul Bremer breaks news with: “We got him.”

March 8, 2004 - Governing Council signs interim constitution.

June 1 - Governing Council dissolved to make way for interim government led by Iyad Allawi. Ghazi al-Yawar named president.

June 28 - United States formally returns sovereignty. Coalition Provisional Authority dissolved. Bremer leaves Iraq.

January 30, 2005 - Shi’ite-led United Iraqi Alliance dominates vote for local council and interim parliament. Most Sunnis do not vote.

March 16 - National Assembly holds first meeting.

October 15 - Referendum ratifies constitution despite Sunni Arab opposition.

December 15 - Parliamentary election. More Sunnis vote this time than in the January election.

February 10, 2006 - Final results give Shi’ite-led UIA near majority with 128 seats. Sunni Arabs have 58 and Kurds 53.

February 22 - Bombing of Shi’ite shrine in Samarra sparks widespread sectarian violence, raising fears of civil war.

November 5 - A Baghdad court finds Saddam guilty of crimes against humanity. He is executed on December 30.

June 15, 2007 - U.S. military says it has completed its troop build-up, or “surge,” to 160,000 soldiers to quell violence.

August 14 - Truck bombings against the minority Yazidi community in northern Iraq kill more than 400 people -- the deadliest militant attacks in Iraq since 2003.

January 12, 2008 - Parliament votes for junior members of Saddam’s Baath Party to return to government jobs, a key to reconciliation.

July 19 - Iraq’s main Sunni Arab bloc rejoins the government when parliament approves its candidates for ministerial posts.

November 17 - Iraq and the United States sign an accord requiring Washington to withdraw its forces by the end of 2011.

January 1, 2009 - U.S.-Iraq security pact comes into force, placing the roughly 140,000 U.S. troops under Iraqi authority.

January 31 - Iraq holds provincial elections, the most peaceful vote since the fall of Saddam, demonstrating big security gains. Maliki’s nationalist coalition scores big victory at the expense of sectarian and federalist parties.

February 27 - U.S. President Barack Obama announces plan to end U.S. combat operations in Iraq by August 31, 2010. He makes an unannounced visit to Baghdad on April 7.

December 8 - Iraq sets March 7, 2010 as the long awaited date for a general election, hours after at least 112 people are killed when bombers strike government buildings in Baghdad.

March 7, 2010 - Parliamentary elections.

May 10 - At least 125 are killed in a wave of bombings and shootings across the country by suspected Sunni Islamists.

May 16 - Iyad Allawi’s Iraqiya coalition wins 91 seats in the March 7 elections. Nuri al-Maliki’s State of Law bloc is second with 89 seats.

August 7 - The U.S. 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, the last brigade mainly focused on combat, hands over to Iraqi forces.

November 11 - Incumbent Prime Minister Maliki’s Shi’ite-led alliance will get the prime minister post, guaranteeing him a second term, while minority Kurds are to keep the presidency after Iraq’s main factions agree on the top three political posts, ending an eight-month deadlock after the March elections.

December 21 - Parliament approves Maliki’s new 42-strong cabinet list, which includes the appointment of outgoing Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani as deputy prime minister for energy and outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Rafie al-Esawi as finance minister. Hoshiyar Zebari is reappointed foreign minister.