Iraqi Cabinet Deadlock Continues as Falih Fayadh Insists on Interior Minister Portfolio

Published December 16th, 2018 - 09:26 GMT
Falih Fayadh (Twitter)
Falih Fayadh (Twitter)

Falih Fayadh said on Saturday he insisted on being nominated for the post of interior minister, two months after disputes in Baghdad over the defense and interior ministers have obstructed finalizing the cabinet of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

“I will leave my nomination for the post of interior minister in the hands of the Prime Minister, and he is the person to decide who he wants to nominate. However, I will not give up my right to run for the post and I will not withdraw,” he stressed.

Speaking during a ceremony held by the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) committee in Baghdad, he said Abdul Mahdi should not yield to any pressure exerted by other parties while choosing nominees for the remaining vacant ministerial portfolios.

 

Fayadh’s stance came only days prior to a parliament session aimed at voting on the remaining eight spots in Abdul Mahdi’s government.

The current statements hint there are no chances that the political crisis will be resolved during Tuesday's session.

“There are no signs that Abdul Mahdi would present his cabinet lineup on Tuesday due to an expected lack of quorum. However, next Thursday may be a turning point because several members of the al-Binaa bloc are seeking to secure the quorum,” an official political source said.

The bloc and the Fatah alliance have backed the candidacy of al-Fayadh to the Ministry of Interior.

Leader of Fatah alliance Hadi al-Ameri stressed last week that his coalition did not nominate Fayadh for the post of interior minister, but he was rather Abdul Mahdi’s choice.

However, the PM was quick to respond during his weekly press conference, saying Fayadh was the candidate of political blocs, not his.

Commenting on the issue, the political source said, the Binaa bloc and the Fatah alliance are saying they support Fayadh in case he was nominated by the prime minister.

“Claiming that Fayadh is not their candidate is part of the ongoing dispute between those blocs and other reformist parties, particularly the Sairoon bloc, headed by Moqtada al-Sadr,” the source said.

Sairoon hinted to foreign pressure, mainly Iranian, is pushing for Fayadh’s nomination, while it insists on an “Iraqi decision” in choosing security-linked ministerial portfolios, it added.

On whether Abdul Mahdi and the Binaa bloc will withdraw their support to Fayadh’s nomination, the source said: “There is a certain acceptance of the fait accompli and a decision not to escalate more in case there is a lack of quorum in Tuesday’s meeting.”

He said all signs hint that the Binaa bloc supports Fayadh in case he is nominated by the prime minister.

“That means that all parties, including Fayadh, have thrown the ball in Abdul Mahdi’s camp,” the source explained.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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