Abadi's second attempt crushed as MPs reject new nominees

Abadi's second attempt crushed as MPs reject new nominees
A new list of proposed ministers submitted to parliament was fiercely rejected by Iraqi MPs who protested against the appointment of the head of a militia group as foreign minister.
2 min read
12 April, 2016
Abadi's attempts to cut down on the number of government ministries is vehemently opposed [Getty]
Tensions continue to escalate between Iraqi political blocs after a new list of ministerial candidates was rejected by members of Iraq's existing government, in yet another blow to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's reform attempts.

Several members of parliament firmly rejected the appointment of Faleh al-Faya​d, head of the Popular Mobilisation Forces as foreign minister in the new proposed cabinet. 

Although the militia group has been pivotal in the fight against Islamic State group militants, it has been widely accused of committing major crimes in the country.

"An opposition front consisting of 98 parliamentarians was formed to stand against the ministerial vote on the cabinet," a government source told The New Arab. The bloc accused the PM of choosing the listed names based on sectarian quotes and compatibility with existing factions.

Abadi's line-up is nothing more than a show that will not pass in parliament, said Ahmed al-Jubouri, a member of the Iraqi parliament for the Alliance of Iraqi Forces.

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Iraq's senior officials, including President Fuad Masoum, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Speaker of Parliament Saleem al-Jubouri, signed a political agreement on Monday that outlined a roadmap for the formation of the new government.

But al-Jubouri maintained "we will not allow this show to go ahead, even if it costs us our parliamentary immunity", noting that those who signed the document a day prior had still kept their job.

On Tuesday, Abadi delivered a list of ministerial candidates to parliament after pressure from a reform movement led by popular cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

"We received the names from Mr Prime Minister with their resumes, and MPs can vote to reject or accept the names that will be presented," said a post on Juburi's official Twitter account.

At least five cabinet nominees withdrew their nominations under pressure from political blocs.

The prime minister has called for "fundamental" change to the cabinet in his raft of anti-corruption reforms, to include "professional and technocratic figures and academics".