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Iraqi lawmakers approve new government

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi lawmakers have unanimously approved a new government to be headed by incumbent Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The long-awaited vote on the new government ends nine months of political deadlock after an inconclusive parliament election in March.

Lawmakers approved a total of 29 ministers including al-Maliki to form the new government.

The remainder of the 42-member Cabinet is made up of acting ministers for now.

Iraqi women lawmakers have been protesting in parliament against the new, mostly male Cabinet.

A senior woman lawmaker, Alaa Talabani, read out a statement of protest that said she knew of only one woman nominated - for the women's affairs ministry. But the final number of women in the Cabinet lineup is still not known.

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