Iraq's New Prime Minister Moves Slowly to Fill in Vacant Cabinet Posts

Published June 8th, 2020 - 06:20 GMT
Newly-appointed Iraqi Minister of Oil Ihsan Ismaeel reads documents at the Basra Oil Company in Iraq's southern port city, on May 9, 2020. Hussein FALEH / AFP
Newly-appointed Iraqi Minister of Oil Ihsan Ismaeel reads documents at the Basra Oil Company in Iraq's southern port city, on May 9, 2020. Hussein FALEH / AFP

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has announced plans to restructure positions in the premiership and the military after lawmakers approved the seven ministry posts that had remained vacant since he was sworn in last month.

The PM held Sunday the first session of his 22-member cabinet.

Parliament allowed Kadhimi to create a new ministry of state and to choose its candidate from the Turkmen minority.

Turkmen were pleased by the move. Their representative Arshad Salihi said this is a serious attempt to lift injustice against them.

However, such a move was rejected by Nouri Al-Maliki's State of Law Coalition, which considered the decision a legislative violation that lacks constitutional grounds.

Iraqi sources said Kadhimi has chosen Judge Raed Jouhi as director in the premier’s office, a post that has significant political and executive powers.


Jouhi was the Iraqi judge who had led the investigation with ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The PM also chose Lt. Gen. Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah as Army Chief-of-Staff to replace Lt. Gen. Othman Al-Ghanmi.

Yarallah is considered one of the main Iraqi commanders who led the battle against ISIS from 2014 until 2017, when Iraq announced its defeat of the terrorist organization.

“Now that the cabinet lineup is complete, the Iraqis are waiting for the government to fight corruption,” Izzat Shahbandar, an independent Iraqi politician, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday.

Al-Nasr Coalition, headed by former PM Haidar al-Abadi, declared its support for Kadhimi’s government despite its strong reservations on the quotas.

“The new government’s success depends on its performance during the transitional phase, topped by holding fair elections, restricting arms to the state, imposing the rule of law, meeting the demands of peaceful protesters, and punishing the perpetrators of attacks on demonstrators,” the Coalition said in a statement.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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