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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 April, 2005, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Iraq PM finalises government plan
Iraq's Prime Minister-designate, Ibrahim Jaafari
Mr Jaafari had been locked in negotiations since his appointment
Iraq's new prime minister has submitted his new government for approval, ending months of political deadlock.

Ibrahim Jaafari's proposal, to include representatives all of Iraq's main ethnic and religious groups, needs to be approved a majority of MPs.

Earlier a woman MP was shot dead at her home in Baghdad, the first MP killed by insurgents since elections in January.

The US says slow progress towards forming a stable government since then has hindered security efforts.

Mr Jaafari told a news conference that he had finalised his government list, but did not reveal who he had nominated for individual posts.

There are indications that Sunni Arabs, who boycotted January's elections, are poised to receive several key portfolios.
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At least seven women are also thought to be among the 32 or 33 names on Mr Jaafari's list.

Majority needed

The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says the announcement will come as a huge relief to many ordinary Iraqis who risked their lives to vote.

Mr Jaafari submitted his list to Iraq's three-man presidential council, who will in turn submit it to MPs in the country's National Assembly.

A vote is expected to be held on Thursday, with a simple majority needed among the 275 members for the government to win approval.

If all goes well the new government could be functioning within a few days, our correspondent says.

Shortly before Mr Jaafari's announcement, gunmen killed MP Lamia Abed Khadouri at her home in Baghdad.

Police said gunmen knocked at her door and shot her when she answered.


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