Iraq’s parliament will vote on Tuesday to approve the remaining eight ministers in Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government.
The process is not expected to go smoothly after the Sunni National Axis Alliance, allied with the Binaa bloc, threatened to obstruct any vote on the Defense Ministry portfolio, which 28 nominees are vying for.
Ahmed al-Jabouri, a leader in the National Axis Alliance and a deputy at the Legal Affairs parliament committee, told Asharq Al-Awsat Monday that the bloc must have power over choosing the next defense minister because it represents Sunnis in the country. He cited how other blocs submitted candidates based on their representation of the Iraqi people.
He added that the bloc had not, however, submitted its candidate for the post.
Jabouri noted that leader of al-Wataniya bloc in parliament, Ayad Allawi, presented some nominees for the Defense Ministry post. However, he added: “Those names were not presented for discussion with deputies who represent the Sunnis and therefore they cannot be approved.”
Some sides, he said, are trying to “impose” certain candidates for their own agendas.
The deputy said his bloc would also refrain from voting on nominees for the Interior Ministry portfolio.
MP Mohammed al-Karbouli, another member of the National Axis, blamed the delay in agreeing on the defense portfolio on the corrupt practices by some high ranking army officers, who are seeking to obstruct the candidacy of some competent military figures, who are nominated by the alliance.
Last month, deputies confirmed only 14 out of the 22 ministers proposed by Abdul Mahdi.
However, they granted his government confidence, allowing him to become prime minister.
Eight ministries, including the vital defense and interior portfolios, are still vacant.
Parliament had to vote on the remaining ministers earlier this month, but the vote was delayed because political forces disagreed on nominees.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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