The Baghdad Post

Iraqi lawmaker says cabinet formation dispute will last for long time

MP Mohamed al-Khalidi said Saturday that the dispute over the cabinet formation will not witness a breakthrough any sooner, due to the Education Ministry’s conflict.

He added that Education Minister Shaimaa al-Hayali is still in charge until Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi proposes a replacement.

In remarks, Khalidi said “the crisis on the cabinet formation will last for a long time due to the ongoing political conflicts and the prime minister’s inability to reach a political agreement on the nominees.”

The prime minister, according to Khalidi, “is the only one entitled to resolve the education ministry’s issue, either through proposing new nominee or dismissing al-Hayali, given that she has not sworn in.”

Khalidi also indicated that “political conflicts affect the government’s program which in turn reflects on people’s prosperity.”

He urged all parties to take their responsibilities to end the dispute.

The formation of a 22-minister government has been hindered due to intensifying disagreements between the rival Reform and al-Binnaa blocs, led by populist Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and Iran-backed militia leader Hadi al-Amiri.

Last month, The Iraqi parliament approved three out of five ministers put forward by Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a step toward ending weeks of deadlock between the two largest parliamentary blocs. The confirmed ministers were Nuri al-Dulaimi, Qusay al-Suhail and Abdul Ameer al-Hamdani, who were selected for planning, higher education and culture, respectively. They were approved after the Islah and Bina blocs agreed to allow a vote on five outstanding ministries — but not the defense and interior portfolios. Source