Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Parliament Approves the Second Maliki Government

Posted by Reidar Visser on Tuesday, 21 December 2010 15:55

In a recent press conference, Ala Makki of Iraqiyya complained that the standard of Iraqi students sent on scholarships abroad was not always as good as it should be. The problem, Makki maintained, was that the system of quota-sharing whereby ethno-sectarian groups are allotted percentages of the places available based on their proportion of the population (muhasasa) meant incompetent students were frequently sent abroad simply in order to fulfil the quota requirements.

Makki’s comments are of course eminently relevant also with respect to another process in which his own Iraqiyya is taking part these days: The enduring Iraqi government-formation saga. With the vote in Iraqi parliament today in favour of around 35 ministers that will serve in the next government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, it seems clear that the goal of satisfying narrow party interests has taken precedence over the idea of creating governance for Iraq… Full story here.

54 Responses to “Parliament Approves the Second Maliki Government”

  1. Michael Knights said


    thanks for the rapid post. Am I right in believing that there was no nomination of MoI, MoD, Min of State for Nat Sec, and Iraqi National Intel Service in this session? That seems to point to a rather large elephant in the room: the fight over real power, control of security appointments and organs. Is the thinking that they might delay these appointments until a new council for strategic policies is up and running? When do you expect to see these security roles filled? Would be interested to know where you see Shirwin al-Waeli and Tareq Najm fitting in.



  2. Al-Saffar said

    Hi Mike,
    If I remember correctly, there were similar delays in announcing the MoI and MoD in the previous two governments. I imagine they have decided already what block has the right to nominate a candidate for each position, and it is by no means inconceivable that the delay has been caused by in-block bickering rather than disagreements between the lists.

  3. Reidar Visser said

    That’s right, none of those were filled, and as Al-Saffar says, that didn’t happen until June in 2006 as well (the rest of the ministries were alotted in May). My feeling is that these posts may go to “independents” that in practice could be leaning towards Maliki, or be truly neutral, like someone from the Wasat bloc for defence.

  4. I watched Maliki’s speach to the parliament and heared his claims that this is a government of efficiency and how he will not let ministers appoint their relatives and party comrades, in total contradiction to reality and as if nothing to the contrary had happened in the past 4-5 years. It made me feel very bad for creating haze and lack of credibility.
    I think we may have more like this elephant coming..

  5. Reidar Visser said

    Faisal, I agree the programme was totally uninspiring. Just an A-Z of generalities on issues in Iraqi society that any politician could have come up with; nothing specific. That’s what I mean by an oversized armistice government.

  6. Santana said

    There is an elephant in the room – no doubt….but I am cautiously optimistic cuz Iraqiya is getting more than I thought they would get. Maybe the seculars have a plan that will gradually work….???

  7. Salah said

    Reidar Visser

    This government cam after 9 long months, so it almost one years of the life of this election process, so the next election will be in four years or three years?

    Do you think in near future will be a discussion of extension here?

  8. Reidar,
    Yes uninspiring program but as an Iraqi who understands between the lines I saw a threat, and it takes me back to my early youth when I reached my first conclusion about Iraqi politics: In Iraq we don’t have political parties, we only have tribes that call themselves political parties. Maliki almost never held anyone from his (tribe) accountable, his highlighting ministries with a lot of party loyalty appointments may seem moralistic and admirable on the surface, but to an Iraqi mind it means he will apply the principle to all parties but his!

  9. Reidar Visser said

    Salah, the electoral term is counted on the basis of the activities of parliament regardless of the process of forming the government, i.e. from the first session of parliament which started this summer. The next parliamentary elections should be some time in 2014.

  10. Reidar Visser said

    Faisal, I’m not sure if I would see everything through the tribal prism. Take Banu Malik, the “tribe of the prime minister”. His relationship with them is far from fricton free. Some of the Banu Malik in Basra/Qurna supported the Baath. Fadil al-Maliki, a Shiite cleric, has been critical of his government from a different perspective.

  11. Salah said

    Thanks Reidar for the clarification.

    Let note here the women also looser in new government, less and less which looks back step again.

    بيان حول تراجع دور المرأة في العراق وإبعادها عن التشكيلة الحكومية الجديدة
    21 كانون الأول 2010
    بعد ما يقارب من عشرة أشهر على إجراء الانتخابات الوطنية، انتهى المخاض العسير بتراجع كل الكتل التي فازت بثقة الشعب وعضوية مجلس النواب، ومنها الكتلة التي أنتمي اليها، من الايفاء بوعودها الانتخابية في دعم قضايا المرأة وإشراك النساء في عملية صناعة القرار.

  12. Salah said

    Just to note from the mouth of very mainstream Iraqis when they do their religious festival in Ashora’a about ne parties/ goverement:

    السياسه القسمت شيعه وسنه
    أمفتح أعيونه الشعب يعرفها فتنه
    الأمرّك أنت علينه / باجر يشيل الخزينه
    والله ما نرضه بالذله
    ودلالة ( الأمرك أنت علينه ) المحتل الذي نصّب هؤلاء قادة للعراق الجديد .

  13. Reidar,
    I did not mean literally Maliki’s tribe, that’s why it is in brackets. I mean Iraqi parties rarely hold its members to account, like a tribe who lets its members loose as a reward for their loyalty. Maliki’s (tribe) is Dawa party..

  14. mohammed said

    عزيزي فيسر
    بعد مخاض عسير شكل المالكي حكومته. واعتقد انه سيعاني من اداءاغلب الوزراء فلم تظهر اسماء يعرف عنها الخبرة في المجال الوزراي وخصوصا التيار الصدري فمثلا محمد الدراجي شاب مهندس تخرج في بريطانيا وعمل هناك لكن ربما لايستطيع ان يقدم للوزراة المطلوب فلا يكفي انه درس وعمل في الخارج فالخبرة الكفاءة والعمل الاداري مهم وهناك الامثلة الاخرى ايضا جديرة بالدراسة والتحليللمعرفة نقاط الضعف والثغرات فلم توخذ الخبرة والكفاءة المعيار الاول في الترشيح وانما القرب من الكتلة هو المعيار. والنقطة المهمة الاخرى خلو التشكيلة من العنصر النششسائي وهذا يسجل نقطة تراجع في تشكيلة المالكي.تبفقى نقطة الوزارات الامنية نبقى ننتظر ماذا سيخرج علينا من اسماء ربما يكون لطارق نجم مكان في احد هذه الاماكن

  15. Reidar Visser said

    Mohammed, many thanks. I guess the problem for Maliki with the Sadrists is that they are all very young, inexperienced (and engineers!) As for the female factor, I agree they have been marginalised, however I wouldn’t see that as a main problem. There is a greater percentage of women in the Iraqi parliament than in the US Congress, so as long as they start making some good contributions there I think nothing should prevent them from gradually assuming more important roles.

    I’ll defer reporting on the security ministries until a vote on them seems closer in time.

  16. IMARK said

    “Today, all elaborate “power-sharing” proposals were pushed into the future and Iraq remains saddled with a majoritarian system of government no matter how much its politicians talk about consensus arrangements”
    No denyal that that this is a positive result.
    Reidar: I agree. But what are your thoughts on the following questions:
    1) Can we hope that manipulation of sectarianism, religion and regionalism for political ends is dying or already dead?
    2)I see that the power of Kurdish coalition as king maker is finished. How this will work out considering the narrow minded racial vision of Masuud Albarazani who exploites outdated national ideology to fulfil his personal ambitions?
    3) Do you not see a positive thing in the inclusion of trouble making Sadrist movement in the government? Considering the fact that it represents a vast problematic layer of Iraqi society which has been unprivileged, uneducated and neglected throughout modern Iraq history. They were originally the farm slaves of the feudal system which was broken by Abdul Kereem Kasim after 1958 revolution.
    thank you.

  17. M said

    Banu Malik: the support for Saddam came from a small pocket that included the head of the tribe in Qurna who is now an MP in SoL: Salam Abdul-Muhsin Irmish. Most of the tribe members throughout the south stood and fought against Saddam. Besides Salam whose invitation to take part of March elections under SoL did not come out of love as much as it was a calculated political move, Nouri is quite reluctant to bringing in his fellow tribemen.

    I share the disappoimtment of no women ministers. Iraq ranks # 3 in the Arab World and # 39 in the world in terms of the proportion of women parliamentarians and would have been quite encouraging to see a consistent trend in the executive offices as well.

    It seems as though our talk for the last 9 months about Maliki-Allawi government have materialized in the most bizzare way. If no important ministries go to any of the minority parties including Sadrists and Kurds, will it matter if there will be 20 or 40 portfolios? If the shape of the new government looks EFFECTIVELY Maliki-Allawi or close to it, it will be quite interesting to see how it functions since many have been betting on the success of such arrangement.

  18. Salah said

    Reidar Visser,
    Not just the standard of Iraqi students affair dominated by sectarian agenda as always, but the new initiative by Maliki is his call for the forgiveness of those “sectarians” officials who caught red handed with fake certificates/degrees when they applied for their position (if they did). This have spark some condemnations inside due to these official they are fraudulent, also gained position knowingly they do not deserve to be in place.

    Back to the standard of Iraqi students and (muhasasa), this should remind us these guys all the time talking about tyrant regime missing Iraq scholarships to Ba’athist although that have some ground of truth but let not forgot most highly graduates guys who came after 2003 have sent overseas by Iraqi government on scholarship programs to different countries on their merits of competency in their BSc accomplished.

    Therefore, now we got those, who argue of corrupt/tyrant old regime they do as same behaviour if not more ugly in these days with Iraq scholarship programs.

  19. Thaqalain said

    I am sure even Shahrestani and Allawi got foreign education on Iraqi scholarships during Saddam era.
    Do we know party affiliation of Luaibi and his tribal background?

  20. Reidar Visser said

    Thaqalain, I’m just guessing but I would assume he is a relative of the other Luaybi in the oil sector, Jabbar, who headed the South Oil Company for a while. If so, they are a family of sayyids from southern Iraq that also have family branches elsewhere in the Gulf.

  21. Jason said

    Thanks for your great reporting. I was expecting an eventual alignment of Iraqiya and SOL, but it is happening much quicker than I anticipated! I am quite surprised how poorly the Kurds and Sadrists came out despite their supposed “kingmaker” status. How were they contained in this manner?

    I see the trend accelerating when it comes to voting on an oil law and Kirkuk.

  22. Reidar Visser said

    No so fast, Jason. I suspect Maliki may want to delay such contentious issues as long as possible to avoid bringing the conflict into the open. I think he is still dreaming of a big win for State of Law (“majority”…) in 2014.

    The Kurds got obsessed with promises and signatures whereas Iraqiyya woke up and focused on real ministries. The Sadrists may not have that many truly “ministerial” candidates and have perhaps opted for a stronger role in the provinces (a new Sadrist governor for Maysan is already being nominated) and the release of prisoners.

  23. Rasool Nafisi said

    Hi Reidar,

    Why did Allawi succumbed to such an apparently raw deal? Would you please elaborate?

  24. Reidar Visser said

    Rasool, I agree the position of Allawi is bewildering. If you just look at the end result in terms of the ministry allotment, it would have been tempting to suggest that he was overwhelmed internally by office-seeking party comrades. However, if you look at the process leading up to yesterday, that doesn’t quite make sense. Allawi has participated all the way, with high-level meetings with Maliki, a “keynote speech” in the assembly, his trusted cousin serving in the next government and in fact quite a few Iraqiyya members getting upset with the way in which he reportedly influenced the nomination of Iraqiyya candidates for the various ministers. So there is no suggestion right now that he is dropping out. We’ll see what happens with the council he is supposed to lead. I don’t expect that will ever be legislated in a form that can even remotely satisfy the aspirations of Iraqiyya for real control (or for the presidency of the council to constiute the leadership position Allawi is seeking). At that point, there will likely be tension within Iraqiyya between those who believe in the council and those who believe in the value of the ministries they have already achieved.

  25. Reidar Visser said

    IMARK, sorry I realise I forgot to respond to your earlier comment. I agree there are positive tendencies here and I think Iraqiyya has been given generous representation, far beyond the symbolic level. But I remain concerned about the capability of the government to agree internally. Maybe it will ruling more through the ministries than through the introduction of new, far-reaching legislation?

  26. JWing said

    Here’s my take on yesterday’s development:

    By my count, if you include the temporary ministers the major lists walked away with the following number of posts:

    Iraqi National Coalition: Premier, deputy premier for energy, deputy speaker of parliament, 21 ministries (7 temporary)
    – State of Law: Premier, deputy premier for energy, 11 ministries (5 temporary)
    – Sadrists: deputy speaker, 6 ministries (2 temporary)
    – Fadhila: 2 ministries
    – Hezbollah Iraq: 1 ministry
    – SIIC: 1 ministry

    Iraqi National Movement: Speaker, deputy premier, 8 ministries

    Kurdistan Coalition: President, deputy premier, deputy speaker, 6 ministries (3 temporary)
    – KDP: deputy premier, deputy speaker, 3 ministries (2 temporary)
    – PUK: President, 1 ministry
    – Kurdistan Islamic Union: 2 ministries (1 temporary)

  27. Reidar Visser said

    JWing, I looked at your list, note that Ali al-Sajri to the best of my knowledge is Unity of Iraq/Wasat rather than NA and that Luaybi is reckoned as an independent technocrat, if perhaps Maliki-leaning, by some. I would also wait with counting the deputyship ministries until they are actually filled by real people!

  28. JWing said


    Thanks. I just came across the info for Sajri as well and have fixed the list.

  29. bb said

    Would it be correct to say that the shia alliance has substantially increased the % of ministry positions over what it held in 2006? It appears to have a substantial majority.

    Seems like a singular triumph for Maliki and SOL. His political skills are indeed impressive.

  30. Reidar Visser said

    I wouldn’t worry too much about counting the deputy ministries until they are actually filled. Looking at the real persons that are ministers as of today, the cabinet is a State of Law/Iraqiyya dominated affair. I agree Maliki has handled things to his best advantage, although one possible indication of weakness is that almost all the confirmed SLA people are his old stalwarts.

  31. bb said

    Suppose another way looking at it too is to note that the religious parties appear completely marginilised compared to 05 and 06 and ministry is dominated by the more centrist, techno(hopefully) leaning parties (Iraqiyya, SLA, Kurds.)Not good signs there for the Tehran regime.

    Re Maliki and SLA – as have often commented, all Maliki had to do was exploit the value of incumbency, stand firm and challenge the others to agree on a replacement so my money was always on him. The question mark
    was whether SLA would stand behind him or crack under relentless pressure ISCI and Sadrists applied for months. Very good for the maturing of democratic politics that both SLA and Iraqiyya maintained their cohesion, imo. But the victory is Nouri’s, no question about it.

  32. Thaqalain said

    If its a JV Cabinet, there was no point to fool the people fore representing the different party. I am sure , a new name of party will emerge and Iraqis will line up to 2014 vote in a hope to get a real CHANGE!!
    The outcome of this 10 month excerize:
    1-People are hopeless and are frustrated of foreign sponsored, foreign brokered deals.
    2-While Iraqis continue path to Washington defined democracy, it will be too late as the country’s resources will be assigned to lucrative overnight formed joint ventures.
    3-Saudia will restart to de-estabilize, derail Iraqi security at any cost so that Iraq will not reach to 5 yr oil target 12 MBPD.

  33. Reidar Visser said

    Bb, not sure what makes you believe SLA is not a religious party. True there are some technocrats in there as well, but the people that have currently been promoted as ministers mostly belong to Maliki’s own Islamist group. Also, let’s not forget that the whole premise of the second Maliki premiership was the construction of a pan-Shiite Islamist alliance called the National Alliance after the elections. Maliki may well seek to liberate himself from that framework over time, but I suspect it will be a slow, gradual and not necessarily unilinear process.

  34. Salah said

    -Saudia will restart to de-estabilize, derail Iraqi security at any cost so that Iraq will not reach to 5 yr oil target 12 MBPD.

    None of the Gulf countries will cheer the increase of Iraqi oil production neither Iran. This is ongoing game and its long time struggle unless US have their say and control on all to grow Iraqi production without listen and protect Iraq oil field from been taken also OPIC members in this matter. In same time, US need to be firm with the claims of compensations from Iraq for untruthful figures from Jordan, Iran, Kuwait, and others who see their opportunity to be paid from those billions of Iraqi oil.

  35. Salah said

    Maliki may well seek to liberate himself

    The thing here these parties and there members are far from changing themself or their mind, this not my own word but living in Iraq, knowing some early Da’aw members, looking for the last seven years Da’awa make no mistake they will continue their backward not forward behaviours.
    Recent orders in Baghdad and other cities done by Da’awa members
    trying to Iranians style govern

    Reading this article may give some future view of the new Maliki

    Not all of the signs are good. The diplomatic source predicted that Maliki would do everything in his power to marginalize his rivals, including trying to weaken the parliament with a push against its speaker, Usama Nujaifi, a Sunni who is expected to contest Maliki’s will.

    “It’s in Maliki’s interest to have a parliament that doesn’t function that well, at least in the short term,” said the diplomatic source. He predicted Maliki would try to buy lawmakers’ compliance through patronage or by threatening them with dossiers he has compiled on them.

    “So he can offer them things or bring out his files. It’s sort of Nixonian,” the source said.

    “It’s going to be quite rocky.”,0,6497338.story

  36. JWing said


    To follow up on what Reidar just said, the SOL controlled Baghdad provincial council is currently cracking down on alcohol sales, something that is supported by the Sadrists. They did the same thing last year as well. Dawa and State of Law definitely have religious tendencies despite Maliki running on a secular slate.

    Also Iran has contacts throughout Iraq’s political parties, not just the Shiites. Although the path to Maliki’s return was long and didn’t exactly go the way Tehran wanted, I don’t think they’re having any problems with friendly Shiite parties still being in control of the state.

  37. bb said

    Was looking at where Dawa is placed on the spectrum of shia Islamist politics, and it is towards the left of that spectrum is it not? Ultimate power resting with “the people” (a secular, modernising concept) not “the clerics”?.

    At bottom line, democratic politics rests on who has got the “numbers”, so it is not surprising that Maliki constructed a shia alliance in order to stave off Iraqiyya. The fact that his branch of Dawa has come from being a minor party in the UIA of 2006 to capturing a decisive plurality of the shia vote in 2010 – must carry implications for the future of islamist politics in Iran?

  38. Salah said

    They did the same thing last year as well. Dawa and State of Law definitely have religious tendencies despite Maliki running on a secular slate.


    There miss reading of Maliki/Da’awa faction who try to make himself seen as a secular guy, the fact is really nothing change, he using this for political game in today Iraq, These guys well promoted/supported by Iranian Mullah and they all salvage to Tehran.

    The funny thing here we see same Mullah/Parties in Iraq going well with US while their grand Iran Mullah still slogan death to US. Its so funny but its part of political game well played by Mullah in Iran with their slaves in Iraq.

    The majority of Iraq Shiites are not supporting Iran/ or Iranian style of govern, today in Iraq Iranian proxy minority group driving the politics , they are not reflecting the majority of Iraqi shiites.

    Let not forgot the ministry of education and what he have done with schools and their books

    This example of dual face of Maliki
    Al-Maliki acknowledged the absence of women in his government when he addressed the parliament on Tuesday, blaming political blocs for failing to nominate more female candidates for the nation’s top jobs. According to the Iraqi constitution, 25 percent of the parliament’s seats have to be filled by women.

    الا ان ما حصل وهذا متوقع فقد آثر الأمين العام لحزب الدعوة الاسلامية المالكي اختيار اسلامي مثله لقيادة وزارة مهمة وكبيرة طالما تمنينا ان يقودها من هو ادرى بشعابها وهمومها ، بعد ان رفض – كما علمنا – ترشيح السيدة ميسون الدملوجي لتسنم قيادة هذه الوزارة ، لأنها ببساطة قادرة على تنظيف ما علق بهذه الوزارة من ادران طيلة فترة حكم المالكي الأولى .

  39. Kjetting said

    Karim al-Lueibi is as far as I know not related to Jabbar al-Lueibi. He is considered close to Dawa – that was why he as a relative unknown and inexperienced (by Iraqi oil standards) got the deputy minister job in the first place.

    He is not considered particularly strong, despite attempts at challenging Shahristani on a couple of occasions. Most oil people assume that he will run the Oil Ministry day to day, and Shahristani will direct broader policies.

    Which does not bode well for the Kurds of course. that was also reflected in their immediate dismissal of the “for Energy” post-fix to his Deputy PM title.

  40. Reidar Visser said

    Bb, I would warn against conflating the clergy vs people dimension with the secularism/Islamism dichotomy. After all, many of the most extremist Sunni Islamist movements are also characterised by a high degree of rebellion against the established clergy so even if one may perhaps detect a somewhat greater distance between clergy and followers in the Daawa camp this does not automatically translate into greater secularism. At any rate, even inside the Daawa opinions on this subject are diverse.

  41. Reidar Visser said

    Kjetting, yes, on checking I find that the correct name forms for the two are actually Abd al-Karim Luaybi (without the definitive article) and Jabbar al-Luaybi respectively, so that in the first case Luaybi is just a patronymicum whereas in the second case it is a patronymicum that has become a family name. I still think he is a southerner though.

    PS Any ideas as to why Luaybi was given the ministry with Shahristani as deputy PM instead of the more straightforward solution of having Shahristani simply continuing in the ministry job?

  42. Tarik said

    Reidar how many ministries were there before, there’s 41 this time round but what’s the increase? Cheers.

  43. Reidar Visser said

    Tarik, I think the previous one was just around 40 when it was completed, so this is not new. The point is, I guess, that most voters thought the previous one was too big and basically involved politicians catering for their own narrow interest instead of working for a coherent policy.

  44. Joe said

    Reidar, thanks for a great article.

    Referring to the Kurds and the Sadrists as coalitions “who probably would not have managed to start any revolution had they not been included” may be assuming too much. The Kurds will not forget the ultimate dream of Kurdish soverignty, and the less included they feel in the Baghdad Government, the more noise they will make toward going it on their own. And the Sadrists, doubtful of the meaning behind the alignment with their nemesis Maliki in the first place, will be watching carefully to see if peaceful participation is more worth their effort than violent resistance. Thanks!

  45. Re comment #41 Reidar,
    Here is a link for short story behind Luaybi-Shahrestani’s appointments.
    Season’s greetings.

  46. bb said

    ? Wasn’t saying Dawa was secular or non-religious! All I said was in the spectrum of shia (religious) politics it is on the left because it of its credo that ultimate power rests with the people not the clerics. This is true is it not, and is also at the heart of the internal debate/conflict going on in Iran. In that country, increasing secularism is very much an issue.

    The significant aspect going forward is that Dawa came from being a minor party in the UIA to winning a decisive plurality of the shia vote in 2010 over the two shia fundamentalist parties, whose credo is that ultimate power rests with the clerics.

  47. Salah said

    Afetr 9 months the “PM of Iraq” satnding in from of the parlemnt memebrs and broadcating to all world saying he didnt know any things about soem his cabent minister selected to set the new goverement!!

    بغداد/العراق اليوم
    وصف القيادي البارز في التحالف الكردستاني محمود عثمان ما جرى يوم امس الاول بتشكيل على الحكومة بانه “صفقة” بين الكتل السياسية اذ ان النواب لم يطلعوا على السير الذاتية وبقيت ايديهم مرفوعة عند اعلان اسماء الوزراء للتصويت عليهم.وقال عثمان في تصريح ان ما جرى كان بصفقة بين الكتل السياسية ، وهناك بعض الوزراء ، لم يطلع حتى رئيس الوزراءعلى سيرهم الذاتية ولم يتم التدقيق بهم ولم يتم توزيع سيرهم الذاتية على البرلمان “.واضاف :” ان هذا الامر غريب ولا يحدث في الدول وقد ينتج حكومة محاصصة مترهلة ويزيد فيها الفساد الاداري “.واستدرك عثمان بالقول :” ان هذه الحكومة يمكن ان تنجز بعض الامور في حال تناسقت وتفاهمت الكتل داخل الحكومة”.وبشأن المشاكل التي قد تحدث بين الكتل التي تقاسمت الوزارات وبالاخص التي لديها مشاكل سابقة مع المالكي ، قال عثمان :”ان هنــــــاك وعودا من المالكي بتسوية هذه الامور وكان ذلك واضحا في برنامجه الذي طرحه امس في البرلمان”.

    ايادي النواب رفعت للأعلان عــن ( صفقــة ) كفـــاءة وزرائهـــا أخــر الهـــم

    وخلال كلمة له في جلسة البرلمان المخصصة للتصويت على الحكومة الجديدة، اكد المالكي انه “ليس مقتنعا بكل ما جرى وانتج التشكيلة الحالية، لكنها ضريبة التعددية” على حد تعبيره. ودعا في الكلمة التي بثتها معظم القنوات المحلية الى اعادة النظر في قواعد تشكيل الحكومة خلال الدورات المقبلة والعثور على صيغة “مقيدة” للتعددية.

    المالكي : لست مقتنعا ولا أعرف شيئا عن بعض الوزراء

  48. Reidar Visser said

    Joe and Faisal,
    I guess we will get a reality check on those issues when the budget is adopted, certainly as far as the Kurds are concerned. Today Nujayfi conceded that the previous “reading” was in fact not a reading, and there is talk about certain amendments. The question is how much is amended, since the version that is in the public domain has a certain anti-Kurdish edge when it comes to oil issues.

  49. Salah said

    All I said was in the spectrum of shia (religious) politics it is on the left because it of its credo that ultimate power rests with the people not the clerics. This is true is it not,

    Your assessment of Iraq today not accurate of the relations of those “minority parties” members and Clergy?

    Please read this story, a Minister who should lead his ministry relies upon clergy to guide him to run his ministry! Not on people/advisors that had in the ministry he should consulting and gets advice from.
    وزير التعليم العالي يلتقي بالمرجعيات الدينية بالنجف الاشرف ويؤكد حثها على تحسين واقع التعليم العالي

  50. mostafa said

    you said “today in Iraq Iranian proxy minority group driving the politics , they are not reflecting the majority of Iraqi shiites”

    if that is right.. how did this majority elect these people???

    P.S. it is normal in an Islamic country that any person including ministers have some guidance and advice from clerics especially that they are encouraging him to serve his people and country and they are not asking for anything for themselves…

  51. Kjetting said


    Shahristani has been well known to not be able to cooperate with other ministries. The great leap forward now for Iraq is to utilise the associated gas from the oil projects to generate electricity and to get a unified energy strategy for Iraq. Now he does not need to cooperate with the Electricity ministry – he can direct it instead.

    I suppose Shahristani think that the political path of the oil ministry has been set and that what remains is management. He has turned to another energy area in need of policy. But of course, he remains in control of the policy of the oil ministry and he gets to be a part of the “kitchen” cabinet of Maliki as well as controlling what gets before the cabinet of energy issues.

  52. Kjetting said

    Faisal Kadri,

    Re your story: As far as I know the consistent story out of Baghdad has been since late November that Shahristani would be Deputy PM for Energy. I think that this was announced quite early by people close to Maliki too – actually the first announcement he made about personalities for the government ( The Kurds did covet the Oil ministry for a while, but realising that any oil minister would have to go through Shahristani, their interest cooled.

    For reference, see Iraq Oil Report 2 December:

    But I suppose the Kurds have done whatever they could to stop it.

  53. Sorry coming late to the discussion, but I just read your article – you wrote that the Sadrists have two ministries (not counting the two “acting” ministries), those held by Ribai and Duraji. But I think they got three – Lawa Samaysim has antiquities and tourism. He was head of their political office until not long ago, and Sadrist websites are quoting all his statements. Surely he is a Sadrist, right?

  54. Reidar Visser said

    Absolutely. The article was written within one hour of the announcement on 21 December and Smaysim, who at one point held the same portfolio in the previous govt, was left out of it by oversight. The correct figure of three Sadrists has been reflected in subsequent articles/discussion, but my key point about the Sadrists getting unimportant ministries remains the same.

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