Iraqi Government Formation Gathers Pace

The first steps towards government formation are underway in Iraq. The process could be finalized by early November.

Nearly five months after Iraq’s 12 May parliamentary elections the country’s next government is finally taking shape. Barham Salih was appointed president on 2 October and swiftly appointed former Vice President and Oil Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi as prime minister designate, inviting him to make the first attempt at government formation.

Iraq’s presidency, which must be held by a Kurd, is a largely ceremonial position and so Mr Salih, like his immediate predecessor Fuad Masum will have little real power. The last president to play a meaningful role was Jalal Talabani who held the role from 2006-2014. The veteran politician utilized his links to key political players both within Iraq and internationally to act as a mediator and Iraqi politics became more polarized after he suffered a major stroke in December 2012. (CONTINUED - 1000 WORDS)