New Prime Minister has 30 Days to form Cabinet

Car Bomb

Policmen investigating a car blast

Monday April 24, 2006 (Stop Fundamentalism) – A roadside bomb, two drive-by shootings and a mortar round brings the number of people killed in Iraq to 36 including 3 American soldiers since yesterday, as prime minister-designate Jawad al-Maliki begins his task of putting together a Cabinet and his new government.

The selection of Al-Maliki bring a deadlock between political parties in Iraq since December elections to an end while the bigger challenges, forming the government and calming the sectarian war that is tearing this country apart, are still left to be resolved.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister-designate Jawad al-Maliki began assembling a cabinet out of Iraq’s Shi’ite, Sunni, and Kurdish parties.  Al-Maliki, a Shi’ite, has 30 days to do it under the Iraqi constitution, being under U.S. pressure to move more quickly.

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said the next government must decommission sectarian militias and integrate them into the national armed forces.

Sunni Arabs say Shi’ite militias have infiltrated the Interior Ministry, are controlled by the biggest Shi’ite party, and used death squads to kill Sunnis.

But police said the bodies of six Shi’ites were found Sunday in the mainly Sunni district of Azamiyah in Baghdad, their hands and legs bound and bodies showing signs of torture.  Two more were found in a mixed district south of the city.