AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
BAGHDAD: Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will take charge of Iraq’s security temporarily as ministers heading the army and police will not be named when he unveils his cabinet on Monday, sources said today.
Politicians said the sensitivity of the posts and the need for consensus on the three jobs – heading the ministries of interior, defence and national security – was the reason for the delay.
“He will head a government of 38 ministers and ministers of state, but the three ministries in charge of security will not be announced tomorrow,” said Khalid al-Assadi, an MP in Maliki’s coalition who is seen as close to the premier.”The ministers will be chosen by Maliki from among a field of candidates and he will present his choices to all the parties to have their agreement because these ministers cannot be party political,” Assadi said.
Maliki has in the past been accused by critics of trying to consolidate his grip on power by grouping increasing responsibilities, in particular intelligence and security, under the office of the prime minister. An aide to the premier confirmed the delay, saying: “These ministries need more time because of the sensitivity of the posts.”