More Cabinet Defections Imperil Iraqi Regime

Political chaos rises as more cabinet-members
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 6, 2007 5:13 PM CDT
In this image released by the Iraqi government, President Jalal Talabani, center, speaks at a press conference with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, left, and Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, right, in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Four more Iraqi cabinet ministers said today they're boycotting meetings, bringing the total to a whopping 17 and leaving PM Nouri al-Maliki with a tenuous majority in the 37-member body. In the latest round of infighting, the newest defectors, all allies of the country's first postwar PM, charge that Maliki has turned a deaf ear to their demands.

The PM is on better terms with the remaining ministers, but the country still has no agreements in place on alloting oil revenues, reincorporating ex-Baathists into the political arena, or organizing provincial elections. An upcoming summit involving Sunni, Shit'ite, and Kurdish leaders will be a "moment of truth," one Western official tells Reuters.