Jawad al-Maliki, the Shiite politician selected Saturday to be Iraq’s first permanent prime minister, is decisive and direct and known for speaking his mind but has little experience in governing, Iraqi political leaders said.

Mr. Maliki, 55, appeared stiff and nervous before television cameras as he spoke for the first time after his nomination by Shiite political parties on Saturday morning. Flanked by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Iraq’s most powerful Shiite politician, as well as Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the former prime minister, he tersely addressed the Sunni Arab fears that he would be too Shiite for the job. ~The New York Times