A presidential decree on Friday assigned Iraq’s new Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi as the caretaker of both ministries of defense and interior until a suitable minister is appointed.
The Iraqi Parliament convened on Wednesday to vote on Mahdi’s new proposed government lineup and program as he was sworn in as the country’s new prime minister, along with 14 of his cabinet ministers.
The parliament’s meeting to vote on Abdul Mahdi’s proposed government was at first postponed at the request of the various political blocs in order to allow them to view the ministerial program.
During Abdul Mahdi’s speech to announce the new government’s program, some MPs left in protest against some of the nominations for ministerial posts, including members of the Saairun Alliance, who were angered at the nomination of IMIS Commander Faleh al-Fayyad to head the Ministry of Interior.
Ultimately, Abdul Mahdi’s choices for some ministries were rejected. Faleh al-Fayyad was excluded from heading the Ministry of Interior, while Qusay al-Suhail was excluded from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Hassan al-Rubaie was excluded from the Ministry of Culture.
By the end of the night, Abdul Mahdi was sworn in as Iraq’s new prime minister, replacing Haider al-Abadi. Only 14 of Abdul Mahdi’s 21 cabinet ministers were accepted, including Thamir Ghadhban as oil minister and deputy prime minister for energy.
Ghadhban’s nomination to head the Oil Ministry angered residents and MPs from Basra, which produces 80 percent of the country’s oil. The people of Basra had demanded that the position of oil minister go to someone from the oil-rich province, but Ghadhban is from Babylon. Residents of Basra threatened they would hold demonstrations to protest Ghadhban taking control of the Oil Ministry.
Fuad Hussein, the KDP’s unsuccessful candidate for president who lost to President Barham Salih, was named finance minister and deputy prime minister, while Mohamed al-Hakim was named minister of foreign affairs.
The Parliament has set its next meeting to vote on the rest of the cabinet for November 6.
Here is a list of the newly sworn-in ministers: Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamed Ali al-Hakim Oil Minister and Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Thamir Ghadhban Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Fuad Hussein Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb Industry Minister Salih Abdullah al-Jabouri Trade Minister Mohamed Hashem Labor Minister Bassem al-Rubaie Health Minister Alaa al-Alwani Housing and Reconstruction Minister Bangin Rekani Water Resources Minister Jamal Abbas al-Adili Agriculture Minister Saleh Hussein al-Hassani Transportation Minister Abdullah Luaibi al-Maliki Communications Minister Naim al-Rubaie Youth and Sports Minister Ahmed Riyadh