Iraqi lawmakers hailed President Jalal Talabani's formal nomination of Nouri al-Maliki on Thursday (November 25th) to form the next Iraqi government as a step toward defeating terrorism.
"Terrorist groups have tried in recent years to mar relations between components of the Iraqi people, to sow divisions among them, and to destroy Iraq," Iraqi Parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi told mawtani.com. "Forming a national unity government on democratic foundations in which all Iraqis take part is like signing the initials on the end of the nightmare of terrorism in Iraq."
Al-Nujaifi said parliament will be a "strong and supporting pillar for making the government's tasks in the upcoming years a success, by enacting the important laws that are related to the service of citizens".
Iraqi lawmaker Abbas al-Bayati said that all Iraqis are happy after the county's leaders reached an agreement on the new government, adding that citizens hope for a strong national unity government.
"The new government will be the best and strongest because it was born out of a democratic and political process, and was based on the ballots in the national election that represented the will of the people," he said, pointing out that security, human rights, and the economy would be the top priorities of the new government.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani formally asked Prime Minister designate Nouri al-Maliki to form the next Iraqi government during a large ceremony attended by politicians, heads of parties, and Iraqi lawmakers at al-Salam presidential palace in mid-town Baghdad.
In a statement, Talabani asked al-Maliki to form a national government that includes all Iraqi political factions, fights terrorism, eradicates corruption, and boosts relations with the international community.
"Today, I am charging Mr. al-Maliki based on the election results, given that the National Alliance is the largest bloc in parliament, to put together a national partnership government that does not exclude any faction or political force."
Talabani handed al-Maliki a formal letter charging him with forming the new government within 30 days.
He said the political agreements between Iraqi leaders have embodied the free will of the country and emphasized Iraqis' ability to set their own policies and chart their own future, as well as their ability to look forward to building a free, unified and strong Iraq.
Talabani called on political blocs to put forward candidates for ministerial portfolios in the new government.
"I look forward to a strong, competent government capable of accomplishing the tasks it has been assigned, taking on security and services, and building constructive foreign relations," he said.
During the ceremony, al-Maliki called on Iraqis to open a new page.
"I am addressing the great Iraqi people, all its religions, sects and nationalities, and our brothers the politicians, about the necessity to work to overcome the disputes from the past, to put them behind us and to open a new page."
He said that he would handle the task assigned him in the best possible way, although "it will not be easy in this period of time that Iraq is going through."
Al-Maliki called upon political forces to put behind their past disputes in order to build the country on co-operation and solidarity. He said the goal should be to serve the interests of Iraq rather than serve the interests of sects, blocs or nationalisms.
"The nomination of the new government members should be based on competency and integrity in order for it to be a strong, competent government," he said.
Al-Maliki promised Iraqis that he would work hard towards security and stability, achieve prosperity, and defeat terrorism.
He vowed to fix flaws in Iraq's international relations and work to reduce gaps in incomes and privileges, and support the poor and needy.