Iraqi Parliament Crisis Deepens Policy Paralysis

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-‘Abadi’s continuing efforts to push through a cabinet reshuffle have plunged parliament into chaos. But a tentative reconciliation with the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) opens the door for ISCI’s current Oil Minister ‘Adil ‘Abd al-Mahdi to remain. He publicly resigned last month.

A tumultuous week in Baghdad culminated on 14 April in a botched attempt by factions hostile to the PM to impeach Speaker Salim al-Jiburi, his most important Sunni ally. This parliamentary rebellion was primarily driven by MPs loyal to former prime ministers Nuri al-Maliki, from Mr ‘Abadi’s own Dawa party, and Ayad ‘Allawi. They were joined by followers of populist Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who has sought to capitalize on recent turbulence to enhance his own position (MEES, 1 April). (CONTINUED - 1157 WORDS)