Shahristani given temporary power portfolio

Amid a heat wave of protests and politics, the resigning electricity minister’s portfolio will go to the oil minister, though electricity officials deny the hand-over will take place.
Minister of Oil Hussain al-Shahristani (L) and then-Minister of Electricity Karim Waheed Hasan (R) at a news conference with then-U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman in Washington, DC on July 26, 2006. Shahristani became acting electricity minister last summer after Hasan was forced out, and last week when the electricity minister resigned amidst a scandal. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

BAGHDAD - Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani will now oversee the Electricity Ministry now that the long-serving electricity minister has resigned, following violent protests over the country's chronic power outages. The announcement came from government officials, but was disputed by Iraq’s deputy electricity minister.

Officials in the Oil Ministry said Shahristani has been named acting electricity minister while maintaining his duties as the head of Iraq's state-run petroleum operations.

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