Iraqi Political Deadlock Exacerbated Following Ministerial Resignations

Prime Minister Haydar al-‘Abadi’s government is in fresh turmoil after his 18 July order accepting the resignations of six cabinet ministers. While Mr ‘Abadi has been seeking to engineer a cabinet reshuffle in order to appoint a “technocratic government” the key obstacle remains the same – securing parliament’s approval of any nominated replacements.

In the meantime, economic and social reforms will remain sidelined as Iraq’s political factions maneuver over the cabinet’s composition.

The now-vacant portfolios are oil, transportation, housing, industry, water resources and the powerful Interior Ministry.

The departure of Oil Minister ‘Adil ‘Abd al-Mahdi will have little impact on Iraq’s oil sector. Mr ‘Abd al-Mahdi has been absent from the ministry since announcing in March that he would not be attending cabinet meetings until parliament examined his resignation, tendered in August 2015 (MEES, 25 March). (CONTINUED - 1151 WORDS)