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Forming An Iraqi Government

Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a physician, has been nominated by the United Iraqi Alliance, or U-I-A, to serve as Iraq's new prime minister. The U-I-A is a coalition of Iraqi Shiite political parties holding one-hundred-thirty of the parliament's two-hundred-seventy-five seats. Parties representing Iraqi Kurds, Sunnis, and independents hold the remainder.

Dr. al-Jaafari has served as Iraq's transitional prime minister since April 2005. He will need a two-thirds majority vote in parliament to be confirmed. U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says Dr. al-Jaafari's nomination "is a beginning of a process":

"This is going to be a process of coalition building as Prime Minister Jafari and his supporters seek to bring in others into the government and fill out specific [cabinet] portfolios. I expect that you're going to see a lot of bargaining going on in the days and weeks ahead as they work to form a government. And we look forward to working with whatever Iraqi government emerges from this process."

"The decisions about who will lead the Iraqi people in this government," says Mr. McCormack, "are going to be for the elected representatives of the Iraqi people to make":

"What we have urged the. . . .elected representatives of the Iraqi people to do is to work together to form a government of national unity so that it is very clear to the Iraqi people that their government is representing all the Iraqi people. And we urge these politicians to work across ethnic lines, to work across religious lines in the best interest of Iraq and the Iraqi people."

State Department spokesman McCormack says, "Ultimately, the choices that are made, the bargains that are struck, are going to be for Iraqi politicians to make."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.