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Iraq Govt may not be operational until April: US

Iraq will hold landmark parliamentary elections on Thursday but may not get a functioning government until April.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2005 09:29 IST

Iraq will hold landmark parliamentary elections on Thursday but may not get a functioning government until April, a senior US lawmaker has said after attending a White House briefing on the vote.

Senator Richard Lugar, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, yesterday said lawmakers were warned during the briefing that installing an operational government in Iraq may take months.

"The briefers cautioned that given the multiplicity of parties and interests, solidifying a parliamentary government will not be instantaneous. They indicated that under some scenarios, the selection of ministers might not be finalised until April," Lugar said in a statement.

The meeting was attended by President George W Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, and top Senate Republicans.

Among the briefers on Tuesday were US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and General George Casey, the top US commander in Iraq.

"They said that we should anticipate that the work of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq to certify election results could take up to three weeks," Lugar said.

"After elections have been certified, members of the Council of Representatives must undertake the politically complex process of building coalitions and forming a government," Lugar added.

First Published: Dec 14, 2005 09:29 IST