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Former Iraqi intelligence chief approved as new premier

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Former Iraqi intelligence chief approved as new premier

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s former spy chief was sworn in as the country’s next prime minister by lawmakers early Thursday after weeks of tense political negotiations as the country faces a severe economic crisis spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

The majority of 255 lawmakers attending the session approved the government plan and the majority of Cabinet ministers proposed by Mustafa al-Kadhimi, officially inaugurating him as Iraq’s premier and ending five months of a leadership void.

Al-Kadhimi, who gave up the intelligence post when he became the prime minister-designate, assumes the premiership as Iraq faces unprecedented crises amid falling oil revenues that will likely prompt unpopular austerity measures, a rising daily tally of coronavirus cases, and pending U.S.-Iraq ties.

“This government came as a response to the social, economic and political crises our country is facing,” al-Kadhimi said during the session, addressing lawmakers. “It is a government that will provide solutions, not add to the crises.”

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