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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK
Iraq PM poised to present cabinet
Iraqi MPs, with Adnan Dulaimi (R)
Sunni and Shia MPs have been squabbling over appointments
Iraq's Prime Minister-designate, Nouri Maliki, will present his cabinet for approval by parliament on Saturday.

Mr Maliki is reportedly close to finalising the line-up, five days ahead of a constitutional deadline.

Shias, Sunni Arabs and Kurds have been in dispute over the make-up of the unity government since elections in December, causing a power vacuum.

Deputies say the powerful defence and interior portfolios are still undecided and may be put under the PM's control.

"The composition of the government may be announced without naming the defence and interior ministry posts," Hassan al-Sunaid MP said in an interview with AFP.

"A number of candidates have been presented to Maliki for these posts, but he has not yet made his choice."

A parliamentary deputy speaker told the chamber to reconvene on Saturday for a vote to confirm the line-up. Parliamentary speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani could not immediately be reached for comment.

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