By Hassan Ali Ahmed for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The post of prime minister in Iraq is proving to be a tough gig.

Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, who was designated to become prime minister with the support of pro-Iranian forces in Iraq, withdrew his candidacy March 2 after he failed to form a government within the constitutionally mandated 30-day deadline.

Now those forces are looking back over their shoulders at caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, thinking he might be their best hope to retain influence in Iraq.

However, Abdul Mahdi said March 2 that he is taking a voluntary absence from the post.

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

In the months since massive anti-government protests began across Shiite-dominant southern and central Iraq in October, Iraqi politicians have been meeting in small groups in the capital late into the night, hashing out new strategies and alliances.

Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, who had been designated to become prime minister, put together a list of ministers in late February, voting on which was initially to be held Feb. 27.

The vote was postponed several times before he withdrew from forming a government early March 2.

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By Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq faces more chaos as PM-designate fails to form government

Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi failed to receive parliamentary approval for his Cabinet March 1, leaving Iraq in a dangerous power vacuum.

Iraqi President Barham Salih appointed Allawi as prime minister a month ago, based on the recommendations of the Sairoon and Fatah blocs.

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By Hafsa Halawa for The Middle East Institute. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi politics continues to unravel as Allawi withdraws

Politics in Iraq continues its calamitous unravelling following the failure of Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi to form a government within the allotted 30 days since his nomination.

On the night of March 1, Allawi withdrew his nomination, citing powers that aimed to bring him down and a refusal by the political elite to engage in meaningful reform.

He gave a statement where he noted that “the choice was to become PM at the expense of the people and their suffering … and I choose to stand with the people.

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By John Hannah, for Foreign Policy. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq Needs Regime Change Again

The United States faces an increasingly urgent set of first-order policy questions in Iraq.

Spoiler alert: The answer is not Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, Iraq’s newly designated prime minister. A popular uprising might be.

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

Iraqi prime minister-designate faces pressure on Cabinet choices

There are multiple challenges keeping Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, recently named Iraq’s prime minister-designate, from forming the government of independent technocrats that he pledged.

The first major hurdle is that some political blocs want to continue to hold onto their current level of representation in the Cabinet.

Under the constitution, Allawi is required within 30 days to form a government and go to parliament to obtain a vote of confidence with an absolute majority of at least 165 out of 329 parliament members.

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By Dr Amer K. Hirmis.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Public sector investment in Iraq – What strategic priorities for the new Prime Minister?

Iraq is still in turmoil, four months since the Uprising, in October 2019. Meanwhile, Prime Minister (PM) Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned. Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi i has been appointed as PM-designate.

Mr. Allawi has already been rejected by the Uprising, as an affiliate to the failed post-2003 ethno-sectarian political system. Political uncertainty thus continues, and with it investment decisions in the public and private sectors.

Whoever the new PM may end up to be, two key challenges will face him; political and economic.

On the political front, the new PM will need to prove, by action, that he has the will and determination to serve the Iraqi people, rather than bend to ethno-sectarian interests that have shaped politics and the economy post-2003. A system that normalised pervasive corruption, sidelined the rule of law, freedom of thought and expression, peaceful gathering and the right to protest. A system that, inter alia, stalled economic development, leading to high unemployment, and marginalised, if not atomised, millions of Iraqis living in poverty.

On the economic front, the challenges are just as great as the political ones. The new PM will have only the near-term to rise to these challenges – possibly a major review of the current ‘Government Programme,’ the ‘Construction Council’ bill, and various economic “road maps” laid out by the current ‘Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee’ (PMAC), e.g. “vision 2030”, as well as comprehensive institutional reforms. He will need to draw together all these, and more, and produce a short-term realistic, rational and workable economic programme, on which more below.

Simply put, the Uprising anticipates economic reforms that create new jobs, use oil revenues for investment in productive sectors of the economy, across the country and substantially reduces the size of government employment, of which the pay roll easily absorbs over 50 percent of the national budget.

The Uprising also demands early general elections, ushering a process of defragmentation of the allegedly corrupt institutions, and observing good governance and the rule of law, amongst other reforms.

Please click here to download Dr Hirmis’ full report in pdf format.

Dr Amer K. Hirmis is Principal at UK-based consultancy CBS Ltd. (2008-present). In October 2009, Amer began a 20-months assignment as Senior Development Planning Advisor to the Ministry of Planning in Iraq (funded under the DANIDA programme for ‘peace and reconstruction’ in Iraq). The posts Amer has assumed include Chief Economist and Head of Policy at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (1992-5), Economic Advisor to UK South West Regional Development Agency (1996-8) and Associate Director and then Head of Consulting and Research (Middle East) at the global firm DTZ (1998 to 2007).

Dr Amer K Hirmis is the author of ‘The Economics of Iraq – ancient past to distant future’

[https://www.amazon.com/Economics-Iraq-Ancient-distant-future/dp/1999824105]

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

Will Iraq’s new PM pass on forming government?

Iraq’s newly appointed prime minister Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi has a difficult task ahead as he seeks to form a new government.

He is facing widespread lack of confidence from public protestors, as well as ongoing pressure from the country’s traditional political forces to adhere to their terms.

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