Politics, Middle East

Iraq: Al-Maliki balks at demands to revise Cabinet list

Latest development again threatens formation of Iraq's new government, 8 months after elections

Maımaıtımıng Yılıxıatı   | 08.12.2018
Iraq: Al-Maliki balks at demands to revise Cabinet list File Photo

By Haydar Karaalp

BAGHDAD

Iraq’s former prime minister on Saturday refused to revise his prospective Cabinet list, despite demands from Shia power broker Muqtada al-Sadr, throwing another roadblock in front of efforts to form a government eight months after elections.

The State of Law coalition refuses calls "to replace Falih Fayyad and other candidates for the new Cabinet,” Nouri al-Maliki told a press conference in Baghdad.

He said replacing Fayyad would risk stability in Iraq as it creates a perception that al-Sadr's Sairon Coalition is trying to put pressure on parliament and the government.

Fayyad, former Premier Haidar al-Abadi’s security adviser, was nominated indirectly by the Hashd al-Shabi-backed Al-Binaa bloc for interior minister, but faces strong objection from Sadr’s Sairoon Coalition, which boycotted Thursday’s vote on the Cabinet in parliament.

Last month, Abdul-Mahdi, an independent politician, was given the go-ahead by parliament to draw up a government.

Since then, however, only 14 of the prime minister’s 22 proposed Cabinet ministers have been confirmed by parliament, with the eight remaining portfolios -- including the key defense and interior posts -- still sitting vacant.

Observers close to the government-formation process attribute the delay to ongoing differences between leading Sunni and Shia political groups.

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