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Sunnis empower al-Kadhimi to choose own ministers for his cabinet: Iraqi Forces Coalition

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (File)
2020-06-03

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SULAIMANI — Iraqi Forces Coalition spokesperson Falih al-Aisawy said on Wednesday (June 3) that his party will vote for any candidate that Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi nominates to complete his cabinet.

Al-Aisawy said that the Speaker of the Council of Representative Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi, who is the leader of the party, asked all its lawmakers to vote for the candidates that Kadhimi submits without any criticism or complaint.

He added that the only condition al-Halbusi set was that the candidate must be Sunni and that the rest of the responsibility for selecting a candidate falls on the prime minister’s shoulders.

On May 7, the Council of Representatives voted to approve Kadhimi as prime minister, along with fifteen of his ministers, but left seven ministries unfilled, including justice, displacement and migration, agriculture, trade, culture and tourism, oil, and foreign affairs.

The justice and foreign ministries are expected to go to Kurdish nominees and the oil ministry is likely to be filled by a Shia. Under Iraq’s informal ethno-sectarian balancing system, the remaining seats are supposed to go to Sunnis.

Forming cabinets in Iraq is often a lengthy process characterized by horse-trading between the factions, Kadhimi raised expectations by filling most of the cabinet within the period allotted to him under the constitution.

However, a month after taking office, no official progress has been made on filling the rest of his government.

On Wednesday, the Council of Representative met, but no action was taken to complete the task.

In the meantime, ministers who have already been approved are taking acting positions in most of the ministries that do not have permanent ministers yet.

(NRT Digital Media)