Sunday, February 12, 2006
AP: Al-Jaafari Re-elected in Squeaker Vote to Head Iraq's New Gov't - Feb. 12
By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer -- Sunday, 1 hour, 49 minutes ago
Al-Jaafari won 64 votes, one more than Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, officials said. There were two abstentions.
More than 100 lawmakers from the Shiite coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance, gathered to vote.
The choice of the umbrella Shiite alliance is assured of becoming prime minister because Shiites won the most parliament seats in the Dec. 15 national elections.
Shiite lawyers cast their votes at the heavily guarded home of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the head of Abdul-Mahdi's party. Al-Jaafari's supporters gathered in the compound cheered when word of the outcome emerged from the closed door meeting room.
Al-Jaafari, a physician, is a member of the Dawa Party and spent years in exile inand Britain before returning to his homeland after the U.S.-led coalition ousted in 2003.
His government, which took office in April 2005, had been widely criticized for failing to improve the country's crumbling infrastructure or deal effectively with the Sunni-led insurgency.
Source: AP-Yahoo News.
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