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UN chief hopes for ‘swift’ formation of Iraqi government

By AFP - Oct 04,2018 - Last updated at Oct 04,2018

UNITED NATIONS, United States — United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday he hopes for the “swift” formation of an “inclusive” Iraqi government following the election of the country’s president.

“The secretary general hopes the election of the president will pave the way to the swift formation of an inclusive government in line with constitutional timelines,” Guterres said in a statement that also congratulated Barham Salih on his election as the Iraq’s new president.

Salih tasked Adel Abdel Mahdi — who is seen as an independent — with forming the next Iraqi government late Tuesday, only hours after being elected.

The prime minister designate faces an uphill task of bridging differences among sharply-divided Iraqi political parties.

The largest bloc traditionally appoints the prime minister and presides over the formation of the next government, but the exact contours of a new governing coalition are yet to be drawn.

Outgoing prime minister Haider Al Abadi threw in the towel last month after weeks of deadly protests sparked by anger at the poor services in Iraq’s south cost his fragile alliance the support of populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr.

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