Iraq and Gulf Analysis

The Ongoing Government-Formation Process in Iraq: Phase 2 Completed

Posted by Reidar Visser on Sunday, 13 February 2011 15:45

Update 14 February 11:05 CET: Today’s session of parliament, devoted to the law on presidential deputies and continued discussion of the budget, has been postponed until Wednesday due to a lack of quorum. Only some 130 deputies showed up.

The second government of Nuri al-Maliki that was confirmed by the Iraqi parliament on 21 December 2010 was in many respects an incomplete one. No security ministers had been nominated, and these portfolios, along with almost a dozen other ministries for which the parties in government had failed to nominate candidates, were left in the hands of caretaker ministers who were already heading other jobs. Notably, these arrangements included Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki himself with respect to his continued control of the security ministries. In today’s session in the Iraqi parliament, some further steps were finally taken after a long period of inaction, although the government-formation process remains far from complete… Full story here.

13 Responses to “The Ongoing Government-Formation Process in Iraq: Phase 2 Completed”

  1. From what I’ve read, Jamal al-Batikh may still be INM/Iraqiya but is no longer part of Allawi’s faction, Wifaq. He has apparently split with Allawi. I’m wondering if that fact may be causally related to him getting a ministry.

    For example, see this from a Kuwaiti newspaper: Splinters in Wifaq Force Allawi to Restructure Wifaq, al-Rai

  2. Reidar Visser said

    Yeah, I remember now; not sure about the exact organisational status of that counter-movement within Iraqiyya though.

  3. Ahmed Al-Shammari said

    Jamal Al-Batikh and a number of Iraqiya MP’s formed their own group within Iraqiyah after losing out. They include Hassan Alawi and others.

    The problem with the vice-president issue is less the insistence on the Turkoman candidate, and more to do with Da3wa wanting Khudayr al-Khuzai to be Iraqi Vice President. If you ever sit with this individual, you will realise that his mentality and intelligence are not fit to be an employee in a ministry let alone a Vice President. Examples of his nomination are the double standards of Al-Maliki when he claims he wants to employ competent people, yet picks Khuzai despite everyone in Iraq knowing the terrible job he did at the Ministry of Education, and his attempts to try and segregate boys from girls.

    There is an old video on youtube where Hadi Al-Amari speaks of Saleh Al-Mutlaq defends himself for being part of the government, and where he says that Mutlaq would sell everything if he was offered a senior post, and sadly that proved to be the case.

  4. The problem with Khuzai seems to me to be less his lack of competence and more his ties to Iran. I’ve read that he used to run a husseiniya in Iran, and that’s not something they would likely let you do if they didn’t think you were loyal. And this apparently was Talabani’s reason for opposing him.

  5. bb said

    I wonder if in a years time scholars blogging on Egypt will drawing almost entirely on the doings of the Egyptian parliament; the televised press conferences of ministers and party identities; and the intricate negotiations between six or so major Egyptian political parties from info provided by a multiplicity of free Egyptian media sources?

    Or will Egypt still have most power vested in a President/strongman and an executive government without substantive legislative breaks on its power?

    Will be interesting to see.

  6. Reidar Visser said

    Kirk, you mean Talabani opposed Khuzai for being pro-Iranian? He is not exactly anti-Iranian himself, is he?

    But it is interesting they keep fighting so hard for these positions. Of course, Maliki could do it just to be on the safe side since the Kurdish 19 points do include restoring the veto-wielding presidency council and he may want to secure an ally inside that council. But like so many of those Kurdish demands, Maliki’s promises are of limited practical value since he cannot just snap his fingers and make it happen. In the case of the powers of the president there will have to be a special-majority decision in parliament first, to be followed by a countrywide referendum first.

  7. Kirk,
    I think you’re mixing cause and effect regarding Khuzai; his ties to Iran is his only leverage. Ahmed Al Shammari said it all.

  8. Santana said

    Khuzaiee is a disaster waiting to happen….he has zero loyalty to Iraq and 100% loyalty to Iran. Talabani doesn’t want him for other reasons that are still unclear but once Qassem Sulaimani the Head of Iran’s Terrorist Organization the Quds force calls Talabani or meets with him on the border just east of Sulaimaniyah – like they always do- and tells him not to oppose their darling Khuzaiee then he will change.
    I would like to take this opportunity to highlight to everyone the mere fact that the President of Iraq has NO loyalty to Iraq nor to the formation of a strong Central government nor to a strong Iraqi Army is an unbelievable and grotesque insult to all Iraqis.

  9. Ahmed Al-Shammari said

    Santana, Iraq is going backwards because of the types of people like Khuzaie who want to keep us in the stone ages.

    The strategic relationship between Talabani and Iran has no bearing on the fact that Khuzai is deeply unpopular among Iraqi political parties for his terrible running of the Ministry of Education. His reward should not be a promotion.

  10. Yes, Talabani has long-term ties to Iran. But on the reasons for Talabani’s rejection of Khazai, two things come up – his past record as minister of education, and his ties to Iran. I emphasized the Iran ties because that is what I’d seen the most of recently. E.g.:

    Talabani Does Not Want a Mullah

  11. Reidar Visser said

    Thanks for the link Kirk. In this particular case, I have to say I find the source quite useless without trustworthy quotations and full of the usual gossip and exaggerations about Sistani’s supposedly omnipresent role in the nitty-gritty of Iraqi politics which I believe is wildly overdone here.

  12. In this case I don’t think the reliability of the source is what matters. Sure there are websites which traffic questionable ideas based on rumors or misconceptions. But if we are talking about perceptions – i.e. why is it that there is a backlash against Khazai – whether he really ran a husseiniya in Iran is less important than the fact that the idea is being circulated.

  13. Reidar Visser said

    Only thing I wanted to question was the idea that Talabani’s and Sistani’s intentions were accurately reflected in that report, which I still think is doubtful. At any rate, Khuzai just said no amount of protests would improve the situation in Iraq…

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