A series of challenges are distinctly facing the new Iraqi government, led by Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
Foremost among these challenges are internal conflicts between political parties, the wide Iranian intervention in Iraq’s affairs, in addition to a number of outstanding issues that were not resolved by the previous government.
Earlier this month, Iraq’s newly-elected president Barham Salih named Abdul-Mahdi as prime minister-designate and tasked him with forming a new government.
Only 14 posts, out of 22, in the government were approved by the Parliament, while the rest of the posts were agreed to be voted upon on Nov. 6.
Political parties intervention in decision making
Political expert Imad Al Khozaie said in press remarks that of the most pressing challenges that would face Abdul-Mahdi’s government is the pressures practiced by political coalitions on Mahdi on the formation of the new government and choosing the ministers.
Khozaie also added that these pressures are the result of some untied links within the social fabric. He further pointed out that the political process in Iraq was built on erroneous bases and foundations, including some faults within the constitution itself, not to mention the diversity of Iraq citizens.
“Mahdi’s skills and expertise will have a significant role in saving Iraq, but should political parties foil the political process, Iraq shall turn into a battle field,” Khozaie added.
The previous government of Haider al-Abadi failed to overcome some problems such as the conflicts between Kurdistan and Baghdad, which pose yet another challenge for the new government. As relations between Baghdad and Kurdistan deteriorated significantly, leading to financial sanctions on banks in the Kurdish region.
Conflicts of the political scene
Moreover, former Kurdish MP Moaed al-Tayyib, said the Kurdish region currently seeks to regain its share of the Iraqi budget; Iraqi Kurdistan’s share of Iraq’s 2018 federal budget is another area of disagreement, with the KRG insisting that they should receive 17% of the budget, while Baghdad has said they are only willing to offer them a 12.6% share.
Al-Tayyib also stressed the necessity of implementing article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, which states it is the responsibility of the Iraqi government to "perform a census and conclude through referenda in Kirkuk and other disputed territories the will of their citizens, by a date not to exceed the 31st of December 2007.”
Last July, The Iraqi government, in a letter to the Kirkuk Provincial Council, claimed the government "cannot implement" Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution in Kirkuk.
Recently, the Kirkuk Provincial Council asked the Iraqi government to trigger article 140 of the Constitution in Kirkuk to help "determine the future of the disputed territory between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq."
The former Kurdish MP said Mahdi’s government would be granted 100 days to monitor its performance and how it would deal with these challenges in a way that satisfies all political parties, especially the coalitions that currently support him.
He further stressed that the new government must set improving life standards and fighting terrorism as a priority.
Pressures by political parties
For his part, political expert Alaa Al-Nashoaa pointed out that if the new government got subjected to the pressures by political parties, then it shall fail.
He also pointed out that Iraq suffers a political turmoil, many contradictions, outstanding problems and around $124 billion worth of debts for 39 countries.
Al-Nashoaa further pointed out to the existence of around 63 armed militias, mainly led by the Iranian Militias in Iraq and Syria (IMIS), warning that Iran wants to transfer the battle to Iraq.
He concluded that the Iraqi scene requires ministers and experts at the same time, so that they could pass the current situation.
Iraqis aspire the formation of an independent government that would only be loyal to Iraqis and the public interest of Iraq, stressing that it should firmly focus on fighting corruption, building national projects and creating job opportunities for young citizens.