Iraq’s Allawi Faces an Uphill Task in Forming News Cabinet

Published February 9th, 2020 - 09:40 GMT
An Iraqi anti-government protester wearing a protective mask lifts a placard during a student demonstration in the southern city of Basra, on February 6, 2020, after a night of violence blamed on supporters of a powerful cleric. AFP
An Iraqi anti-government protester wearing a protective mask lifts a placard during a student demonstration in the southern city of Basra, on February 6, 2020, after a night of violence blamed on supporters of a powerful cleric. AFP

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi has been spearheading a campaign against a 16-year tradition of portfolio quotas and for consensual democracy.

Allawi, according to MP Hussein Arab, has been holding consultations with political blocs to push back against the agenda of quotas as he embarks on his mission to form a new government.

Mohammad al-Khalidi, head of the "Bayariq al-Khair" bloc in parliament, paints another picture of this very complex scene.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said that “all the political blocs are now in a difficult situation with their supporter bases, which now are demanding a comprehensive change starting with the blocs themselves.”


“While Allawi’s mission is certainly not easy, it is also not impossible because there is a firm conviction among the vast majority of deputies, with their various affiliations and attitudes, that it is necessary to get out of this political impasse and that this will not be achieved except through an independent government.”

On whether Allawi’s cabinet will gain the parliament’s vote of confidence, Arab said: “All indications are that the government will pass through parliament if it was truly assembled without political quotas.”

According to the MP, Allawi received the green light to form an independent government for the period of transition from all Shiite blocs in parliament.

Nevertheless Kurdish and Sunni blocs had a different say on the matter.

“The position of the Kurds so far varies between rejection and acceptance, while Sunni Arabs, as far as I know, set conditions on ministers,” Arab said, explaining that these requests aren’t “major obstacles given that everyone wants to overcome this stage even with minimal losses.”

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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