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MPs say PM responsible for incomplete cabinet lineup

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Iraqi Parliament members have held Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi responsible for not completing the cabinet formation, warning that such crucial step is mandatory and linked to various veins of the country.

Sairoon Alliance MP Alaa al-Rubaie has said the Prime Minister is responsible for delaying the Cabinet formation, demanding him to submit the candidates list to the House of Representatives to embarrass the disputed political blocs.

He also added that both alliances of Fatah and Hamas have given Abdul Mahdi full freedom to complete the government formation.

For his part, Parliament member Hussein Al-Aqabi said it is not likely that the government formation would be completed any sooner, thanks to the deep disputes and disagreements between political powers that seek their own interests.

“Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi is still weak and gets subjected to political pressure, also, he does not have the authority to submit any candidates for vacant ministries,” Al-Aqabi added,

While MP for Fatah Alliance Hussein Al-Yasari said that the interior ministry is the main obstacle in the way of completing the cabinet, pointing out that there is a possibility to end the dispute over other ministries.

He also said dispute over candidates is what hinders the cabinet lineup, expressing hope that Abdul Mahdi would give political blocs a time limit to finish submitting their candidates, and in case they did not comply with the deadline, he should submit names of his own choice.

However, since then, Abdul-Mahdi has faced difficulties in forming his Cabinet and has been unable to assert his influence vis-à-vis the major political parties that put him in power. Many commentators in Iraq claim that Abdul-Mahdi is more of a thinker than a doer, and he has written of an ambitious plan to reform the government.

Rather than take a strong position to form his Cabinet, Abdul-Mahdi’s plan, according to his inner circle, is to pursue gradual change from within, fighting against the so-called deep state symbolized most visibly by the “muhassasa” system, whereby political parties have distributed deputy minister and director positions based on an ethno-sectarian quota.

“This cannot be delayed any longer because of the political interests of some coalitions,” Yasari added in press remarks.

Observers see that Abdul Mahdi is feeling danger surrounding his government in light of talks about some moves for impeachment. They also said Abdul Mahdi is further facing another challenge, which is he got appointed without any party or alliance support.

In the same context, MP Melhan Almkotar revealed that there is no agreement about naming the remaining ministers, pointing out that in order for the cabinet to be completed, disputes between political parties should be resolved first.

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