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Iraqi PM Selects 2 Ministerial Candidates from Online Portal

Iraqi PM Selects 2 Ministerial Candidates from Online Portal

Tuesday, 22 January, 2019 - 06:15
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi walks out of the parliament in Baghdad on October 2, 2018. (AFP)
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi selected on Monday two candidates for his cabinet from the online portal he had launched in October for applicants to submit their nominations for ministerial posts.

The PM addressed a letter to Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi with the nomination of the two new ministers.

“After a series of consultations with the political blocs, I send you two new candidates for the Ministries of Education and Justice asking you to present them to the House of Representatives for the MPs’ vote of confidence," the document read.

Abdul Mahdi named Safana al-Hamdani as Minister of Education and Judge Arkan Bibani as Justice Minister.

Asharq Al-Awsat learned from an informed source, who wished to remain anonymous, that both candidates had applied for the posts online.

“The PM had to resort to the electronic portal to choose the ministers after political blocs failed to agree on candidates for the remaining vacant posts: Education, Justice, Defense and Interior,” the source said.

Asked whether the legislature would vote on the two new candidates, the source said: “Parliament wants to complete the cabinet lineup, therefore, the candidates have good chances.”

Abdul Mahdi was assigned last October by President Barham Salih to form a government after being nominated by the two largest parliamentary Shiite-led Reform and al-Binaa coalitions.

After his appointment, he said qualified candidates have three days in October to submit their resumes online to apply to ministries and other posts through a website created for that purpose.

“Whoever has the experience and believes that she/he is eligible to run for a ministerial post and wants to nominate themselves, has to send their CV through the website,” his office had said.

Abdul Mahdi served as Minister of Oil in Haidar al-Abadi’s cabinet but resigned in 2016 after two years in office. He was also Iraqi vice president between 2005 and 2011.

According to an informal agreement adopted in 2005, the selection of ministers in Iraq is done through consensus of the various political forces.

Cabinet ministers must be Iraqi citizens with a college degree or equivalent, under terms of the constitution. 

Soon after after launching the website, thousands of people submitted their applications for ministerial posts, according to a statement from Abdul Mahdi’s office.

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