Iraqi political parties have reached an agreement toward forming a government, ending several months of political deadlock that followed the country’s inconclusive elections in March, news agencies report. Jalal Talabani, the newly re-elected president, has reappointed Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister, BBCsays. This progress was welcomed by international leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The voting procedures leading to Maliki and Talabani’s reinstatement were, however, marred by a walkout of some members of the main Sunni-backed alliance, al-Iraqiya, who wanted a motion removing the stigma of Baathism to be passed before the election of a president. Four key al-Iraqiya leaders have been banned from taking political office because of their alleged connection with Saddam Hussein’s Baath party, BBC explains.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.