Election shakes up Parliament’s oil seats

Oil Minister Shahristani gets seat riding Maliki's wave while only one of the current members of Parliament's Oil & Gas Committee will return to the legislature.

BAGHDAD - Hussain al-Shahristani survived nearly four years as oil minister, but did not exactly get a ringing endorsement from the electorate in Baghdad, where he stood as a candidate in the March 7 elections. He will receive a seat in Parliament only because the leader of his coalition, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, received hundreds of thousands more votes than he needs, which are allocated to other candidates in Maliki's party.

There will be more new faces than old when the Parliament is eventually seated. It looks to be a drawn out battle to even certify the election results, let alone for the Parliament to agree on the next prime minister, who will then form the next government, including naming the all-important post of oil minister.

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