In finally filling key cabinet positions late last month – seven months after establishing a government – Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi managed to overcome a considerable threat to his reign (MEES, 28 June). Mr Abd al-Mahdi’s government is now poised for its next major challenge: surviving the summer heat and its looming protests.

This time last year, Iraq, and especially the oil heartlands of Basra, were embroiled in mass protests (MEES, 20 July 2018). Inadequate electricity and water supplies sparked huge demonstrations over corruption and general incompetence, issues which are pervasive all year round, but are much harder to ignore in 50°C heat with no air conditioning. (CONTINUED - 865 WORDS)