Iraq Names New Electricity Minister

Iraq named a new electricity minister on Monday, after the previous minister Raad Shallal [Shalal, Shallal al-Ani] stepped down under government pressure in August following allegations of fraud in two electricity contracts.

"Parliament voted by majority to nominate Abdulkarim Aftan [Abdul Karim Aftan al-Jumaili] as electricity minister," Faiza al-Obeidi, an MP with the Iraqiya list that proposed him for the position, said.

"The majority of the political blocs welcomed the fact that Aftan took the position, which gives hope that he will succeed at managing the ministry."

Cabinet general secretary Ali al-Alaak told AFP on Monday that Aftan had submitted a plan to address Iraq's chronic power shortages to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Hussein al-Shahristani, the deputy prime minister charged with energy issues.

(Sources: AFP, AKnews)

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