27/03/2012 17:33 GARMIYAN, March 27 (AKnews) - Diyala's new governor, Hisham al-Hayali, took the oath of office, announced his spokesman today.

Spokesman Turas al-Azzawi said Hayali, whose appointment was announced earlier this month, took the oath in the headquarters of Diyala Provincial Council in Baquba, three days after the approval of the Iraqi presidency was issued.

Security in the province deteriorated after Diyala Council demanded regional autonomy on December 12, 2011.

The former governor, Abdul-Naser Mahdawi, and a number of Iraqiya List deputies fled for Khanaqin in Diyala or Kurdistan Region. The local government has resumed activities in Baquba again.

The Mahdawi eventually submitted his resignation amid much confusion and controversy.

Hayali, was a former chairman of the council's legal committee and belongs to the Islamic Party and the Iraqi Accordance Front coalition, which won first place in the Diyala provincial elections in 2009.

The party formed the local government, later allying with the Iraqiya list four months ago, becoming a single bloc in the council.

By Bryar Mohammed