Iraq’s Embattled Government Under Fresh Pressure

Iraq's parliament finds itself in the crossfire of political games aimed at impairing prime minister Abadi via corruption allegations against key allies. The cabinet still has three vacant ministries, with no minister appointments in sight.

Just as it was starting to regain equilibrium Iraqi Prime Minster Haidar al-‘Abadi’s government has been sent into a spin. The Iraqi parliament is now moving to impeach Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari following its successful vote to remove Defense Minister Khalid al-‘Ubaidi on 25 August. These efforts are clearly being driven by political aims as Mr ‘Abadi’s opponents seek to undermine him.

The back-and-forth corruption allegations that have erupted during the process threaten to undermine the entire political establishment. Furthermore, the process has divided elements within Mr ‘Abadi’s camp, further weakening his already shaky position.

Mr ‘Abadi spent the first half of this year in a failed effort to form a new “technocrat” cabinet, and parliament’s election of five new ministers on 15 August seemed to herald a new start. Now parliamentarians, mostly those aligned with former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, an intra-party rival of Mr ‘Abadi, have tried a new tactic. (CONTINUED - 2137 WORDS)