BAGHDAD

Iraq’s parliament approved the cabinet of Prime Minister-designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi early Thursday after some last-minute changes to appease political parties. 

Parliament approved 15 ministers out of a prospective 22-seat cabinet in a vote of confidence.

Five ministerial candidates were rejected while voting on two ministers was postponed, leaving seven ministries, including the key oil and foreign affairs positions, still empty.

Ministerial candidates for the ministry of justice, ministry of displacement and migration, ministry of agriculture, ministry of trade and ministry of culture and tourism were rejected.

Voting on the oil and foreign ministries was postponed because no candidate was determined.

Al-Kadhimi and the 15 approved ministers were sworn in in parliament.

The vote of confidence session for the new cabinet began at 9 p.m. local time (1800GMT) on Wednesday, according to a statement from the parliamentary press office.

Iraqi President Barham Salih appointed al-Kadhimi, a former director of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, as prime minister-designate on April 9.

According to the Iraqi constitution, al-Kadhimi was required to form a government within one month.

Iraq has been roiled by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to resign.

At least 496 Iraqis have been killed and 17,000 have been injured since the protests began on Oct. 1, according to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights.

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