By John Lee.

Iraq’s Council of Representatives (Parliament) on Thursday approved fifteen candidates nominated by Prime Minister  Mustafa Al-Kadhimi for membership of the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet).

Reuters reports that voting on the oil and foreign ministries was delayed as the parties failed to agree on candidates.

The parliament rejected Kadhimi’s picks for justice, agriculture and trade; and, according to Xinhua, also rejected his nominees for culture and migration.

Members of the new Iraqi Cabinet are:

  • Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief: Mustafa Al-Kadhimi
  • Minister of Defence: Juma’a Enad Saadon Khattab
  • Minister of Interior: Othman Ali Farhood Musheer al-Ghanimi
  • Minister of Health and Environment: Hassan Mohammed Abbas Salman
  • Minister of Finance: Ali Haidar Abdulameer Abbas Allawi
  • Minister of Communication: Arkan Shihab Ahmed Kadhim
  • Minister of Construction and Housing: Nazineen Mohammed Wassaw Sheikh Mohammed
  • Minister of Education: Ali Hameed Mukhlif
  • Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology: Nabil Khadim Abd Al-Sahib
  • Minister of Electricity: Majid Mehdi Hantosh
  • Minister of Industry and Minerals: Manhal Aziz Mahmoud
  • Minister of Labour & Social Affairs: Adil Hashush Jabir Jassim
  • Minister of Planning : Khalid Battal Najim Abdullah
  • Minister of Youth and Sport: Adnan Dirjal Matar Jasim
  • Minister of Transportation: Nasir Hussein Bander Hamad
  • Minister of Water Resources: Mehdi Rasheed Mehdi

Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi will submit to Parliament nominees for other Cabinet posts at a later date.

During the parliamentary session in Baghdad, the Prime Minister told MPs that the new government will create a consultative framework that brings together all blocs, parties, women organisations, the protest movement, professional bodies and trade unions so that together, Iraqis can overcome current crises and challenges.

A new programme for government

The Prime Minister also set out the key priorities of his government which include mobilising all resources to combat the coronavirus pandemic, preparing for early elections, submitting a special draft budget law to address the economic crisis, ending internal displacement in Iraq and protecting the country’s sovereignty and security.

Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi called on all Iraqis to work together, saying that the challenges facing Iraq are great, but they are not greater than our ability to address them.

Click here for details of the Iraqi government programme.

(Sources: Govt of Iraq, Reuters, Xinhua)

By Al Monitor staff. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iran welcomes Iraq’s new prime minister

Iranian officials have welcomed the appointment of Mustafa al-Kadhimi as the new prime minister-designate of Iraq.

Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, said the Islamic Republic of Iran “welcomes the agreement between all of Iraq’s political parties to introduce Khadhimi as the prime minister and sees it as the correct path and step.”

Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, tweeted a similar sentiment, saying that Iran will support whoever is selected by Iraq’s parliament.

Click here to read the full article.

By Shelly Kittleson for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News

Coronavirus curfew fails to clear Iraqi protest squares

Anti-government protests that began in October and raged through Iraq for months were officially suspended in late March as part of efforts against the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic.

Major squares, however, remain occupied. Some protesters say they have to stay amid continued assassinations of activists.

Umm Abbass, a well-known female activist in Nasiriyah, was killed on April 5 when militias allegedly stormed her home at dawn.

Click here to read the full story.

By Abbas Kadhim, for the Atlantic Council. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Another prime minister nominee in Iraq: Will this one take?

On March 17, Iraqi President Barham Salih appointed Adnan Al-Zurfi, a member of the Council of Representatives and former governor of Najaf, to be the new prime minister.

This is the president’s second attempt to replace Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, who resigned in November 2019 and is currently presiding nominally over a caretaker government, though he has delegated all his executive duties to his deputies.

As I grew up a few blocks away from Iraq’s new prime minister nominee, I would like to share a few thoughts on his background and likely next steps.

Click here to read the full story.

Headquartered in the UK, Abacus Cambridge Partners, a leading consulting, technology, and outsourcing company, has announced a strategic partnership with Deep Engineering, a premier engineering company and a subsidiary of Joto Leading Group, to expand its presence in Northern Iraq by offering digital transformation solutions to the private and public sectors.

Technology plays an increasingly critical role in every aspect of a business. Leaders in the public and private sectors in Northern Iraq recognise the need to accelerate the development of digital solutions to ensure competitiveness.

The Abacus-Deep Engineering partnership brings together extensive skills in business and technology strategy, technology development and deployment, and organisational change management to help transform organisations across Northern Iraq.

Speaking on the signing ceremony, Yu Huang Chan, CEO of Deep Engineering, remarked:

“We think it’s a productive agreement as Iraq is now booming. We are happy to have this partnership with Abacus.”

Abbas Khan, CEO of Abacus, added:

“I am pleased to announce that we have now entered into a strategic framework agreement with Deep Engineering. Through this collaboration, we will be able to create massive opportunities for customers across the region. Our alliance with Deep Engineering is going to result in mutually beneficial outcomes.”

The partnership will play a fundamental role in achieving Iraq’s vision 2030, which is driven by digital transformation.

(Source: Abacus Cambridge)

By Abbas Kadhim, for the Atlantic Council.

The challenges Iraq faces after prime minister’s resignation

The news on November 29 that Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi will resign is unprecedented in post-2003 Iraq.

Many questions must be answered before his successor is appointed, and in the meantime, we can expect unrest to continue.

The immediate concern will be constitutional.

The Iraqi constitution addresses the replacement of a prime minister following his removal from office by a parliamentary vote of no-confidence and in the case of vacancy for any reason, but it is silent on resignation, other than a scenario related to the dissolution of parliament and the calling of a new election.

The full article can be viewed here.

(Source: Atlantic Council)