March 31, 2007 / 1:23 PM / 12 years ago

Iraq's justice minister resigns, official says

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Justice Minister Hashem al-Shebly has resigned because of dissatisfaction over the running of the government, an official said on Saturday.

Izzat Shahbandar, a spokesman of the secular Iraqi National List to which Shebly belongs, said the resignation had been accepted by Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

“He did not feel there was any harmony in government policy and he did not want to continue,” Shahbandar told Reuters.

Shahbandar said Shebly had offered his resignation three days ago. The Iraqi National List is headed by former interim prime minister Iyad Allawi.

Maliki, under growing pressure to stem Iraq’s unrelenting violence, leads a coalition of Shi’ite, Sunni, Kurdish and secular parties.

Shebly is the first cabinet minister to quit since Maliki took office nearly a year ago. Shebly’s party has put forward three candidates to replace him.

Maliki had been promising a cabinet reshuffle since late last year to remove underperforming ministers, but one aide has said such a move would be unlikely soon because members of his coalition were against losing any of their portfolios.

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