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Vetoes Disrupt Iraqi Government Formation

Vetoes Disrupt Iraqi Government Formation

Friday, 19 October, 2018 - 06:00
Adel Abdul Mahdi, the newly appointed Prime Minister, attending a press conference at the headquarter of Iraqi parliament in Baghdad, Iraq, October 2, 2018. EPA
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa
A number of Iraqi political blocs placed a “veto” on the names of some candidates submitted for ministerial positions, a step that further disrupted the announcement of a new government, informed sources revealed Thursday.

“Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdel Mahdi had completed the largest part of his ministerial lineup and was about to present it to parliament yesterday (Thursday),” the sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

However, the sources added, a number of blocs expressed objection to the names of some candidates proposed by Mahdi. “This development complicated the formation process.”

The new cabinet is expected to include between 22 and 23 portfolios, 70 percent of which are allocated under political consensus and 30 percent for technocrats.

Some Iraqi political blocs had given Mahdi the freedom to choose ministers according to the shares allocated to each of them.

However, others placed vetoes and asked the PM to ask for their consent before he chooses names for his lineup.

Despite the obstacles and the challenges he faces over the allocation of ministries to different blocs, the PM-designate is expected to present his cabinet lineup to parliament for approval next week.

The sources said he would present the lineup by next Monday or Wednesday after finalizing the distribution of around 15 ministerial portfolios among the different factions.

“He will keep any decision on the sovereign ministries, such as the Defense, Interior, Foreign, Oil and Finance, for later,” the sources explained.

Meanwhile, Iraqi President Barham Salih said Thursday it was important to form a new cabinet within constitutional time-frames.

According to the Iraqi constitution, the prime minister-designate has 30 days to form a cabinet and present it to parliament for approval.

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