Iraq Prime Minister &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/98/387/12302_Kerry.html ' target=_blank>Ibrahim al-Jaafari has been sworn in with 29 members of his cabinet, but the country's political impasse continues with key portfolios unfilled.
Mr. Jaafari was nominated as prime minister by the Shi'ite-dominated United Iraqi Alliance, following January 30 elections. But he has struggled to put together a balanced cabinet with power distributed equitably among Iraq's three main ethnic factions.
Five ministries were held by "acting ministers," while two deputy prime minister posts were left empty. The situation did not change, even as the partial cabinet was sworn in, reports VOA News.
According to the New York Times, in a protest over the stalled talks, Sheik Ghazi al-Yawar, one of two vice presidents, refused to attend the ceremony. He has been leading efforts to name candidates for the Defense Ministry and two other vacant positions allotted to &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/printed.html?news_id=14824 ' target=_blank>Sunni Arabs and had threatened to boycott the ceremony if Shiite leaders continued to block Sunni nominees to the Defense Ministry, a key post.