BAGHDAD (AP) - The long awaited announcement of Iraq's new government set for Monday will be delayed once again over disputes between the parties on how the posts will be distributed, officials said. (Scroll down for photos)
The disagreements are the latest snag following months of delays in putting together a government after inconclusive parliamentary elections in March left Iraq's politics deadlocked.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's advisers Ali al-Dabbagh and Ali al-Moussawi insisted that at least a portion of the new Cabinet will be presented to parliament Monday as originally promised, with more than half the names put to a vote.
Parliament spokesman Omar al-Mashhadani, however, flatly denied that the new Cabinet will be announced.
See the lawmakers who've been announced here (captions by the AP):
Al-Maliki has until Saturday to present his Cabinet under a 30-day deadline imposed by Iraq's constitution. If he does not, President Jalal Talabani will assign another member of parliament to do it.
The constitution does not specify how Talabani would select the next lawmaker to create the government, but it could mean that al-Maliki will lose his shot to remain prime minister after more than nine months of postelection haggling to build enough support from former opponents to remain in power.
Monday's holdup was caused by foot-dragging by the secular but Sunni-backed Iraqiya political alliance that opposed al-Maliki in the March 7 vote.
Iraqiya lawmaker Jabar al-Jabari said the alliance has not yet submitted its candidates for cabinet posts because the group's members are still undecided who should get what.
"We have not yet handed al-Maliki the names because we are trying to come up with the best candidates for the job," he said.
Iraqiya only recently dropped its long-standing demand to form the government, instead of al-Maliki, since the alliance narrowly won the most seats in the election.
Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite, said his concession to al-Maliki came only after he was assured about a power-sharing agreement to fairly divide up the posts among Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.