Middle East Online
As nominations for Iraq’s defence and interior ministries arouse greater political
disquiet, the leaders of 14 of Iraq’s 22 ministries have been approved and seated.
However, Adel Abdul-
The cabinet and ministerial appointments have shown that unwavering political allegiance pays more handsomely in the new Iraq than loyalty towards the country. Keeping in tradition with previous years, choices have been drawn along political party lines — parties that have staffed government institutions since 2003.
The newest ministerial class, contrary to claims of “relative independence,” reflects the current power plays and the dominant actors. Favouritism and nepotism have sullied the country’s appointment system by inserting into the fold a new crop of corrupt politicos, not merely impeding democratic growth but stunting its development altogether.
Whether by blood or by creed, newly appointed ministers are either affiliated with unreckonable militia factions including Asa’ib Ahl al Haq (AAH), Babylon Brigades, Popular Mobilisation Forces, Badr Corps or large political blocs — among them Sairoon and the State of Law.
AAH member Hassan Kazan was awarded the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The Ministry
of Oil initially seated Jabar Ali al-
Kurdish Gorran leaning former parliamentarian Srwa Abdulwahid expressed her dismay over the post awarded to Kazan. “What the ministry of culture needs is a candidate who breathes arts, literature. Someone able to restore our picture houses and theatres. In other words, a man who loves life,” she wrote on her official Twitter page.
In absence of effective parliamentary scrutiny, the selected portfolios raise concerns
about government formation in Iraq, not just in speed but the practices underpinning
it. In addition to setting off on the wrong foot, these practices cut straight through
To modernise appointment methods, Abdul-
Despite the outsized role political parties play, the new technocratic head of state
promises to rewrite Iraqi history but such practices have done little to build public
confidence and trust. The rehabilitation of corruption-
It needs esteemed leaders and men of integrity who can centralise commands and ministerial functions and override the commandments Iraq receives from its allies in Tehran and Washington.
Though it is arguable, Abdul-
As more analysts rush to label the new prime minister as the compromise upon which
Washington and Tehran could find mutual ground, corruption continues to feed on Iraq’s
political structures and anti-
Nazli Tarzi is an independent journalist, whose writings and films focus on Iraq’s ancient history and contemporary political scene.
This article was originally published in The Arab Weekly.