June 24, 2019 / 10:34 AM / 23 days ago

Iraqi parliament votes in defense, interior, justice ministers: lawmakers

The speaker of Iraq's parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi stands with the newly pointed ministers: Defence Minister Najah al-Shammari, Interior Minister Yaseen al-Yasiri, and Minister of Justice Faruq Ameen during a swearing-in ceremony at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq June 24, 2019. Iraqi parliament media office/Handout via REUTERS

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The education portfolio is the only one yet to be filled in Iraq’s government after lawmakers on Monday voted in Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s nominees as defense, interior and justice ministers.

Najah al-Shammari, Yaseen al-Yasiri and Faruq Ameen were respectively confirmed in those posts, lawmakers said.

But Safana al-Hamdani, the nominee for minister of education and the only women to be put forward so far for a ministerial post, was rejected.

“Most lawmakers were not satisfied that (she)... is fit for the job,” said legislator Abbas al-Zamili of the Iranian-backed Badr Organization.

Months of deadlock over forming a cabinet have raised the prospect of further unrest as the country struggles to rebuild and recover after three years of conflict with Islamic State.

Abdul-Mahdi also faces the daunting task of solving acute economic problems and power and water shortages.

Lawmakers said he would put forward another nominee as education minister for parliament to vote on Thursday.

Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; editing by John Stonestreet

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