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Iraqi President Names Prime Minister Designate


Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has designated Jawad al-Maliki, a Shi'ite, as prime minister and asked him to form a government.

The move Saturday breaks a four-month political impasse over the nomination of prime minister.

Talabani made the announcement during a parliament session that approved nominations for government posts. Shi'ites nominated al-Maliki Friday.

In Saturday's session, Talabani, a Kurd, was elected to another term as president, while a Sunni Arab, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, was elected parliament speaker.

The process of forming a new government was held up over the prime minister nomination.

Sunni Arab and Kurdish politicians had opposed the nomination of incumbent Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari for another term, saying he had not done enough to stop sectarian violence.

In the latest bloodshed, Iraqi police say two people were killed and at least 10 others wounded when two roadside bombs exploded within minutes of each other near Baquba.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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