Shahristani out of oil, in for Maliki deputy

New post to coordinate all energy policies allows PM Maliki to retain power in case he doesn't keep Oil Ministry.
Outgoing Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani speaks after a bilateral meeting to discuss enhancing energy cooperation between Iraq and the European Union on January 31, 2008 at the EU headquarter in Brussels. He will retain a broad energy portfolio in Iraq's new government as deputy prime minister for oil and electricity issues. (DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty)

BAGHDAD - Hussain al-Shahristani will continue steering Iraq’s energy sector, but not in his current capacities as minister of oil and acting minister of electricity. Instead, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will tap Shahristani, a fellow member of the State of Law coalition, for a newly created post as deputy prime minister for oil and electricity issues.

The move ensures that Maliki will keep a hand on the tiller of Iraq’s energy sector, even if he’s forced to award leadership of the Oil or Electricity ministry to other parties in his fractious governing coalition.

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