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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From the Atlantic Council. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Can Iraq’s new prime minister nominee navigate Baghdad’s political chaos?

As Iraq continues to face widespread demonstrations and the fallout of escalating tensions between the United States and Iran, Iraq’s President Barham Salih nominated a new prime minister on February 1, to succeed Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, who announced his resignation on November 29.

Salih named Mohammed Tawfik Allawi as his designee for the premiership. Salih has set a deadline for February 1 for Iraq’s parliament to elect a new prime minister, but the body has failed to do so.

Allawi was a former communications minister under former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki.

Atlantic Council experts respond to the nomination of Mohammed Tawfik Allawi:

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

After withdrawing his support for the protests, controversial populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his followers back to Tahrir Square Feb. 1, where his supporters clashed with demonstrators and forcibly took over the main part of Tahrir Square as well as the Turkish Restaurant that has been under control of the protesters.

The nomination of Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi as the new Iraqi prime minister was simultaneously received negatively by the protesters, who see his appointment as a plot by Sadr and his Iran-backed allies in the government to end the protests in Baghdad.

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By John Lee.

Several publications have produced profiles of Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, the new nominee for the position of Iraqi Prime Minister:

From Middle East Monitor, under a Creative Commons licence. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi [Mohammed Tawfik Allawi] (pictured) has pledged to form a non-sectarian government.

Allawi said in a televised speech after receiving his official appointment letter from President Barham Salih that he was honoured to accept the assignment.

Allawi promised to form an Iraqi government that protects the peaceful protestors, prohibits the use of live ammunition, ends the misuse of non-lethal weapons such as tear gas canisters and to work with the judiciary to release all innocent detainees.

He also pledged to confine all weapons to state security institutions and take action to ensure respect for the rule of law.

Holding early elections, protecting the electoral process and standing against any interference in it, were among his other promises.

To improve the economy, Allawi said he would tackle unemployment by creating job opportunities and fighting corruption.

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, welcomed Allawi’s appointment and called to accelerate the achievement of fundamental reforms and the legitimate demands of the Iraqi people.

(Source: Middle East Monitor)

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