Iraqi parliament fails to give confidence to the interior and defense ministers
[16:17] 14 / Sep / 16
Erbil, September 16 / September (PNA) - Iraqi Council of Representatives for Tuesday, September 16th / September vote on the candidates and the interior and defense ministries to next Thursday, after the failure of Riad Ghraib, Jaber al-Jabri to get the confidence of the board.
According to media reports that House Speaker Salim al-Jubouri, in order to vote on the candidates for the security ministries to session next Thursday, after he failed to Riad Ghraib, Jaber al-Jabri obtain the confidence of Parliament.
She reports that the candidate Federation of Iraqi forces Jaber al-Jabri got 118 votes out of 251 fails to take over the Ministry of Defense, after being nominated by the bloc to take on this position, pointing out that the National Alliance candidate Riad Ghraib got 117 votes out of 251, to fail is the other in The Ministry of the Interior.
The Iraqi Parliament Fails to Approve New Security Ministers
Posted by Reidar Visser on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 18:35
New Iraq PM Haydar al-Abbadi kept his promise to present ministerial candidates for portfolios not included in the recent vote on his new cabinet, but the Iraqi parliament proved uncooperative. As a result, only one minister, for water management, was approved in today’s session. Crucially, all key security ministries remain vacant.
The most contentious nominations related to the defence and interior ministries. With respect to defence, the name of Jabir al-Jabiri, an Anbar politician with considerable popular backing and past ties to the former finance minister, Rafe al-Isawi, has recurred for some time as the nominee of the Sunni coalition in parliament. Conversely, it was something of a surprise that Riyad Ghrayb, a Shiite chameleon who has gone from a past with ISCI to the State of Law bloc and the faction of Hussein al-Shahristani, was put forward in the last minute. Before that, it had largely been thought that Badr would present a candidate, even after their original nominee, Hadi al-Ameri, was found by most other parties to be too unpalatable in such a sensitive position. As late as yesterday, a modification of the Badr proposal was presented in the shape of “independents” that might be acceptable to Badr, such as Ahmad Chalabi and Qasim Dawud. Today, the Shiite alliance held a last-minute meeting before the parliament session without being able to agree internally on a candidate.
There are regional and international dimensions involved, too. It has been suggested that the Iraq interior ministry struggle is a reflection of the contradictive relationship between the United States and Iran in the region as a whole, with Iran backing Badr candidates in Iraq and the United States – finally in possession of some real leverage because of the ISIS threat and Iraqi requests for American military assistance, and tacitly in alliance with Iran against ISIS – strongly objecting to this.
It is noteworthy that during the parliament session today, Abbadi implored the chamber to approve the nominees whereas parliamentarians of the Shiite alliance (whom Abbadi himself represents) voiced opposition to a vote, saying the interior minister at least should be internally approved in the Shiite alliance first. Deputy speaker Humam al-Hammudi of ISCI at one point tried to stop the vote according to the official parliamentary record.
Whereas the voting record hasn’t been tied down to individual MPs or even parties, the patterns suggest that parts of the Shiite alliance may have voted No and possibly that there was a revenge No in the vote on the State of Law nominee for tourism (Ali al-Adib). Interior minister Riyad Ghrayb got 117 out of 245 votes, Jabir al-Jabiri 108 out of 251, and Ali al-Adib got only 78 out of 250 votes. By way of contrast, a Sadrist nominee for the water ministry was approved with a more resounding 162 out of 250 votes. Altogether 285 MPs were in attendance, probably a reflection of the realization that a simple majority could have settled the matter of the security ministers and have them approved if those who were against Jabiri and Ghrayb had simply absented themselves.
Parliament adjourned until Thursday 18 September but it is unclear whether Abbadi will come up with new nominees by then. It cannot be stressed enough that these final components of the Abbadi cabinet are among the most important decisions relating to the new Iraqi government as a whole – and as such far more significant than the plethora of international gatherings that are currently going on in the name of defeating ISIS in Iraq. Experiences from Yemen suggest that airstrikes will eventually hit someone that shouldn’t have been hit. In that kind of context, only a durable political coalition in Baghdad can prevent the situation from fragmenting completely. The absence of agreement on security ministers was a key reason the second Maliki government remained so shaky throughout its term, and it is likely this issue, more than anything else, that will seal the fate of the new, so far partial, government put in place by Haydar al-Abbadi.
Saleem al-Jubouri: The House of Representatives granted another chance to al-Abadi next Thursday in order to resolve the issue of security ministers
BAGHDAD / NINA / Speaker of the House of Representatives Saleem al-Jubouri, said on Tuesday that the House granted another deadline for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ended next Thursday in order to resolve the issue of the security ministers.
Al-Jubouri said in a statement to his press office: "It is in order to complete the formation of the Government of Abadi and in the form which achieves the supreme interests of the Iraqi people, especially in the security side, which has become a concern for all Iraqis after the deterioration that the area had witnessed, the House of Representatives gave sufficient time to choose the security minister after voting on the government last week.
The House of Representatives did not give confidence in its today session for candidates of the ministries of Defense, Interior and Tourism, while it voted for / Muhsen Asfour / as Minister of Water Resources.
UNP MP: Jabiri to be re-nominated for defense minister post
September 17, 2014 by Ahmed Hussein
Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) MP Sajida Mohammed of the Union of National Powers assured that “The Union nominated Badr al-Fahal to assume the defense minister post.”
MP Mohammed stated to IraqiNews.com “Al-Fahal is among the candidates for the post after the rejection of the parliament to the nomination of the candidate Jabir al-Jabiri,” noting that “Jabiri will be re-nominated for the same post.”
“We were surprised by the rejection of the parliament for Jabiri since he was our only candidate for this post.”
MP confirms the lack of agreement between the political blocs to nominate candidates for the two Security Ministries
BAGHDAD / NINA / MP for the State of Law Coalition, Haider Mutlaq al-Kaabi said the political blocs have not agreed to nominate candidates for the two ministries / interior and defense /.
Kaabi said in a statement to the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA /: "The National Alliance and the Iraqi forces coalition failed to reach an agreement for naming their candidates for the ministries of interior and defense, indicating that it is likely to postpone naming the two ministers (defense, interior) and vote on them after the Eid al-Adha."
On the meeting of the Council of Representatives today, Kaabi said: "The Council will discuss the work of the council during the past 8 years, in addition to swear oath to a number of MPs who did not perform the constitutional oath."
The House of Representatives has failed to vote on the candidates for the ministries of interior and defense, Riad Ghraib and Jaber al-Jabri in the meeting, which was held on last Monday under the chairmanship of Salim al-Jubouri, head of the Council and attended by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi .
Alliance forces are likely to vote on the ministries of interior and defense after the Eid al-Adha
Sat Sep 20 2014 21:26 | (Voice of Iraq)
Alsumaria News / Baghdad
Suggested Bloc parliamentary alliance of Iraqi forces, Saturday, and vote on the Interior and Defense ministries directly after Eid al-Adha, revealing submit new names to the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
The head of the bloc Ahmed electrodes in an interview for the program "Khvaya declared," which aired "Alsumaria", that "All agreed on the importance of these two bags and two interior and defense," he said, adding that he "got several meetings with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to resolve this matter."
The electrodes that "coalition forces Iraqi nominated new names, one of them from Mosul, Khalid al-Obeidi and another from a military professionals Nuri forgiving," likely "to vote on the security ministries directly after the feast."
It is noteworthy that each of the candidate Iraqi forces to the Ministry of Defense Jaber al-Jabri, and the National Alliance candidate Riad Ghraib failure in a session last Tuesday (September 16, 2014) to get the confidence of Parliament.
To postpone the vote on the security ministers of the post-holiday
Sun Sep 21 2014 17:43 | (Voice of Iraq) - Add Comment - revealed Deputy for green mass in the House of Representatives, about to go to postpone the vote on the defense and interior ministers of the post-holiday Eid al-Adha.
The MP explained Leila disappeared, in an interview with the site of the Central Council of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUKcc.net), today Sunday, 21/09/2014, that there are differences between the components of the National Alliance, to nominate a candidate as interior minister, referring to the limbs you want to nominate a prime Badr Organization, Hadi Ameri, while the other parties oppose the nomination of Ameri.
She noted that the MP Alborznge to vote on the two posts delayed until after the holiday, pointing out that the Council will hold a regular session tomorrow, will meet with the committees on Tuesday, that the Council will hold next Thursday, his last session before the holiday.
The candidate of the Iraqi forces to the Ministry of Defense Jaber Al Jabri and the National Alliance candidate for the Ministry of Interior Riad Ghraib failed to gain the confidence of the House of Representatives during the session last Tuesday (September 16, 2014).
MP: most of the parties of the National Alliance support Ameri to assume the Interior Ministry and parliament will vote on Jabri for the defense
BAGHDAD / NINA / MP, of the Ahrar bloc, Jumaa Diwan al-Bahadeli said there are no differences within the National Alliance on the nomination of the Minister of Interior, noting that most of the forces of the Alliance support the Secretary-General of the Badr Organization, Hadi al-Ameri to take this post.
He told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA /: "The talk about the existence of differences among forces of the National Alliance is untrue, because most of the forces of the National Alliance agreed on granting the Minister of the Interior to Badr bloc, noting that the issue of naming the ministers of interior and defense on its way to be resolved a smooth and easy and it is possible, during the next sessions of the House of Representatives to give Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi names to vote on them. "
He explained that "a number of members of the House of Representatives presented a memorandum to the presidency of the parliament signed by / 50 / MPs or more to re-vote on the candidate of the Iraqi forces coalition, Jaber al-Jabri to the Ministry of Defense, adding that the Presidency of the Parliament approved to re-vote in order to give confidence to Jaber al-Jabri as defense minister ".
The MP, of the State of Law, Haider Mutlaq al-Kaabi expected naming the ministers of defense and interior and vote on them after Eid al-Adha. "
MP: it is difficult to resolve naming defense and interior ministers before Eid al-Adha
BAGHDAD / NINA / MP, of the Iraqi forces coalition, Salah al-Jubouri confirmed the difficulty of resolving the candidates for the defense and interior ministries before Eid al-Adha.
Al-Jubouri said in a statement to the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA /: "There is a need to name the ministers of defense and interior, because of the security problems in the country, which makes it imperative for the Prime Minister to resolve this file in nearest opportunity."
He added: "At the time we request to speed up the nomination of the ministers, we ask for a national consensus on the candidates offered by the prime minister to fill the two ministries."
Jubouri pointed out that "the lack of time will be main reason in the postponement of the subject after the holiday of Eid al-Adha, on the grounds that" the House of Representatives will enjoy a vacation in 26, Sep, for two weeks. "
He said: "The Iraqi forces coalition resented a group of names to the prime minister to choose one of them for the post of Minister of Defense, including Khalid al-Obeidi, Jaber al-Jabri, Nuri Gafil al-Dulaimi and Hajim al-Hassani, and others," pointing out that "some of these figures are backed by political parties, and the other are not. "
Jubouri concluded, "Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi needs professional and accepted personalities to the assumption of the security ministries, and it is difficult for Abadi to come with names to parliament do not get a consensus on them, and we get a new setback.
Alliance Iraqi forces: the re-nomination of Jaber al-Jabri to the Ministry of Defense
Dated: September 24, 2014
Baghdad / Iraq News Network, a parliamentary source said coalition forces in Iraq, said the alliance will bring the nomination to the Ministry of Jaber al-Jabri Aldvaa.oukal source: Iraqi forces that the alliance made a formal request be re-elected Jaber al-Jabri to the Ministry of Defense, and we are waiting for the political blocs agree on it, pointing out that The problem is not in the Union of Iraqi forces, but are in the National Alliance, which did not correspond to mass so far on the candidate and the Ministry of the Interior. "The House of Representatives declined to give confidence to the candidates of the Ministries of Interior Riad Ghraib and Defense Jaber al-Jabri in the meeting, which was held last week under the chairmanship of Salim al-Jubouri, head of Council and attended by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Deputy for mass Badr: Ameri-Jubouri was supported by the Kurds and the electrodes and to take internal
Wednesday 24 September 2014 12:39
Alsumaria News / Baghdad
MP for the Bloc Badr Razak al-Haidari, Wednesday, that the candidate to take over the Interior Ministry Hadi al-Amiri was supported by Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jubouri, the head of the Union of Forces Iraqi Ahmed electrodes, while noting that the Kurds do not object to that.
Haidari said in an interview for "Alsumaria News", "Badr bloc discussed with Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jubouri, the candidate of the Multi-Hadi al-Ameri to take over the Ministry of the Interior," noting that "al-Jubouri confirmed his support for the Ameri."
Haidari said that "the head of the Union of Forces Ahmed electrodes also confirmed no objection to assume Hadi al-Amiri of the Ministry of Interior and its support for him," pointing out that "the rule of law and national components all with this trend."
He continued that "the Kurdistan Alliance, in turn, emphasized his support for the Ameri as a candidate to take over the Ministry of the Interior."
The Minister of Human Rights and a prominent leader in the Badr Organisation, Mohammed Mahdi al-Bayati has revealed, the first on Monday (22 September 2014), for a final agreement between the members of a coalition of state law during a meeting held yesterday in the presence of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on the nomination of former Transport Minister and head of the Badr Organization, the take the bag and the Ministry of Interior officially.
The Kurdistan Alliance MP Sarhan Ahmed said, in (13 September 2014), that the Kurds have no objection to the Secretary-General of the Badr Organization, Hadi al-Amiri to the Interior Ministry, while pointing out that they want the interior minister of an efficient and fair and does not differentiate between the components and sections of the people.
MP from Badr: Al-Abadi told the National Alliance, he needs to take time to take some critical security decisions
BAGHDAD / NINA / MP for the Badr Bloc, Razak al-Haidari said the prime minister Haider al-Abadi told the components of the National Alliance his need to take the time to make some decisions and decisive actions in the security file.
He told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA / "The restructuring of the armed forces and the security services are within the government program presented by the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and voted on by the House of Representatives."
Haidari added that "there is a political and parliamentary consensus within the National Alliance and other blocs on the need to reconsider the structure of the armed forces and built them on the basis of professionalism in the light of the challenges of the current and future phases."
He said "Abadi, during a meeting of the National Alliance recently, said that there are battles and confrontations on the ground, preventing him from making some adjustments , and he needs to take the time to make critical decisions regarding the security file."
He noted that "the National Alliance expressed its understanding to the vision of Abadi and give him full support to the steps of restructuring the security services and armed forces."
Hamoudi, calls for Cabinet to vote on the budget bill in its session today Tuesday,
Hamoudi, calls for Cabinet to vote on the budget bill in its session today
Tuesday, 30 September / September 2014 12:39
The member of the Presidency of the Council of Representatives Hamoudi Cabinet to vote on the budget bill and the proposed amendments in its day.
Hamoudi said in a statement received by all of Iraq [where] a copy of which was that "in the event that the Council of Ministers of the vote on the budget bill during today's session, the House of Representatives to be discussed immediately after the end of the holiday of Eid al-Adha."
He pointed out that "the Committee tasked to hold the amendments to the current year budget completed its work and sent the Presidency of the Council of Representatives bill to the Council of Ministers to give it back to the House for discussion and approval."
He Hamoudi said that "the time factor is very important in the process of speeding up the completion of the budget as a result of changes in the prices of oil and other, which calls for the Council of Ministers to give priority to this law and submit it to all the laws."
The decision of the House of Representatives Niazi Davutoglu said yesterday that "the Parliamentary Finance Committee ended last Sunday of the drafting of the final conclusion of the report of the general budget in 2014 and was sent yesterday to the Council of Ministers for information and discussion at the meeting scheduled Tuesday in preparation to bring it back to parliament."
The head of the parliamentary finance committee temporary Magda Tamimi confirmed earlier that "the House of Representatives will present the general budget bill for first reading if they come from the government, which promised to send them to Parliament during the current week."
She said that "the parliamentary committee handed the Minister of Finance Agency Mohammed Xiaa Sudanese group reports and proposals for amendments to be included in the general budget for 2014 and forwarded to the ratification of Parliament" Ended
Economic parliamentary: we raised three laws to promote the presidency of the parliam
Economic parliamentary: we raised three laws to promote the presidency of the parliament of reality investment
Tuesday, 30 September / September 2014 12:32
[Baghdad - where]
Commission lifted the economy and investment representative three laws are complex investment to the presidency of parliament to be debated and acted upon to promote investment in Iraq.
The MP said the Committee Ahmed Salim told all of Iraq [where] that "the laws are filed: the law and the law of 13 international conventions investment with the State of Kuwait and the Republic of Armenia and investment law with Jordan."
Salim added that "working with these laws will help facilitate the work of investors in the country in all the pieces of oil and the economic and industrial," pointing out that "these steps will help to attract investors and give them confidence."
It is said that a large number of global investment firms may be reluctant to work in Iraq because of the deteriorating security in the country actually what caused those companies fearfully from work and accomplish Almcharaa.anthy 2.
High Nassif: I am a student budget deduct the region
High Nassif: I am a student budget deduct the region
High Nassif asked to deduct the proportion of 17% of the budget of the region
Announced that a member of the House of Representatives for the State of Law coalition high Nassif, for it is the ratio of students to deduct 17% of the budget of the region.
Nassif and demanded "all participants in the political process to deduct the proportion of 17 percent of the budget of the province for the past few years," pointing out that "this percentage cut of the rights of the Iraqi people in the western provinces and the Middle Euphrates and the south."
This came in a meeting with her newspaper (Iawinh) Kurdish, and she added: "demanded to cut the budget territory that the region Barasal revenues to Baghdad after the recent dispatch of the budget allocated to the Kurdistan Region," explaining, "This is in the interest of every member of province Kurdistan must be conducting this process in accordance with the Constitution by the federal government. "
Nassif explained, saying: "We did not underestimate never the role of the Kurds versa of this, the assistance provided by the Kurds, in particular its role in sheltering displaced within the region the focus of Acknowledgement", expressing at the same time, about the "resentment of the practices of some Kurdish leaders and specifically regional president Massoud Barzani, especially at the present time that Iraq is witnessing which requires everyone to express national role in order to preserve the unity of Iraq. " http://translate.googleusercontent.c...u4s4iN2MzukuWA
Urgent .. Minister's [where]: Council of Ministers is considering a proposal to grant
Urgent .. Minister's [where]: Council of Ministers is considering a proposal to grant bonuses to the Iraqi people
Tuesday, 30 September / September 2014 14:28
[Baghdad - where]
Said Minister of Science and Altklnoggio Knight Jeju "We suggested to the Council of Ministers in its meeting on Tuesday, the allocation of money distributed to the Iraqi people on the occasion of Eid al-Adha."
He added Jeju told all of Iraq [where] that "the proposed contribution comes us to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people, which passes through difficult circumstances under Athdiat faced by the country."
He noted that "the Council will consider the proposal in the presence of the Minister of Finance Agency Mohammed Xiaa Sudanese."
The Cabinet held its regular day Tuesday to discuss a number of issues listed on the agenda, including the granting of cash advance to the Kurdistan region of the salaries of the staff and discuss the draft budget bill for fiscal 2014 Ended 2. http://translate.googleusercontent.c...51y287cIaM2YcA
The parliamentary Finance Committee announced that the Cabinet bill included the fede
The parliamentary Finance Committee announced that the Cabinet bill included the federal budget for the current year on the agenda of the meeting
The parliamentary Finance Committee announces that the Council of Ministers said.
30-09-2014 12:28 PM
The Chairman of the Committee, said Magda El-Tamimi federal budget bill for the year 2014 will be presented to the Cabinet table at today's meeting, saying the meeting would vote on whether or not the budget, adding that the Finance Committee is awaiting the Cabinet's approval of the budget and send it to the House before the Eid al-Adha to read at the first meeting of the Council after the holiday.
Hammudi called on the Cabinet to vote on the draft budget law meeting
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 12: 39
Invited Member Humam Hamoudi House Cabinet to vote on the budget bill and the proposed amendments in its day.
Hammoudi said in a statement received in Iraq every copy that "If the Cabinet votes on the budget bill during today's meeting, the deputies be discussed immediately after the holiday of Eid al-Adha."
He noted that "the amendments to the budget this year completed its work and the Presidium of the House sent the Bill to the Council of Ministers to give it back to the House for discussion and approval."
Hammoudi added that "the time factor is very important in the process of speeding up completion of the budget as a result of changes in the prices of oil and other, requiring the Cabinet to give priority to this Bill and submitted to all laws."
The decision of the House of Niazi davutoğlu said on Wednesday that "the parliamentary Finance Committee ended last Sunday of drafting the final report summary budget 2014 sent yesterday to the Cabinet for review and discussion at its meeting Tuesday in preparation for return to Parliament".
The head of the parliamentary Finance Commission provisional Magda El-Tamimi said earlier that "the House budget bill will be submitted for first reading upon arrival from the Government, which promised to send it to Parliament next week."
"The Parliamentary Committee recognized agency Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani group reports on the amendments and proposals to be included in the general budget 2014 for ratification to Par
The spread of heavy security in Baghdad .. and the government discussed the budget in
The spread of heavy security in Baghdad .. and the government discussed the budget in 2014
Iraqi Council of Ministers held later in the session Tuesday to discuss the draft budget for the current year, while the capital Baghdad, saw widespread heavy security after activists announced via social networking to organize a demonstration against the new government led by Haider al-Abadi.
The government will send a new draft budget to the House of Representatives for the purpose of approval after the holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The parliamentary Finance Committee has completed the drafting of the final conclusion of the report of the general budget for 2014 and sent to the Council of Ministers.
Other issues to be discussed at the meeting two months salary for the current and past employees of the Kurdistan region have been stalled since early this year.
Invitations to demonstrate and spread of security
Against the backdrop of calls launched by activists across social networking to organize protests against the new government, has spread in the capital, Baghdad, and since the early elements of the security apparatus in the squares and streets near the Green Zone, which houses the government, parliament and the Ministry of Defense and foreign embassies.
Iraq: Shiites Paralyzed by infighting as ISIL menaces Baghdad
Iraq: Shiites Paralyzed by infighting as ISIL menaces Baghdad
Juan Cole - The pan-Arab London daily “al-Sharq al-Awsat” [The Middle East] is reporting from a source inside the new Iraqi government that former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, now one of three largely symbolic vice presidents, is attempting to undermine his successor, Haydar al-Abadi.
Al-Abadi has abolished the office or rank of “general commander of the armed forces” This position was created by al-Maliki and is his baby. [Al-Maliki is said to have arranged for the uniformed military to report directly to the PM]. Al-Abadi also opposes the appointment of Badr Corps militia leader Hadi al-Amiri as minister of the Interior (i.e. head of internal security and intelligence.
An internet support group for al-Maliki is running a smear campaign against al-Abadi, accusing him online of “treason.”
Meanwhile, speculation is increasing that Rafi` al-`Isawi, a Sunni from al-Anbar province and a former cabinet member, may be appointed minister of defense. (I called for a Sunni minister of defense a few weeks ago). Having a Sunni as minister of defense will help to make it look less like a Shiite-ISIL clash or like a Christian-Shiite operation against Sunnis.
Iraq’s new government and the question of sunni inclusion
IRAQ’S NEW GOVERNMENT AND THE QUESTION OF SUNNI INCLUSION
Policy debates related to Iraq, Syria and the problem of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have referenced the need for “Sunni inclusion” in the new Iraqi government. Ever since Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-dominated Ba`ath regime was overthrown in 2003—thereby paving the way for democratic processes that have consistently produced Shi`a-dominated governments—a key transitional question has focused on how Sunnis would fare under the new political order. The significance of the “Sunni question” in Iraq has become accentuated, in particular following the advances of ISIL in Sunni-dominated parts of Iraq since 2013. Less attention has been paid to what the concept of “Sunni inclusion” actually means, and how the question of “Sunni inclusion” has played out in previous Iraqi governments in the post-2003 era.
This article offers a historical overview of Sunni inclusion in past Iraqi governments with the goal of providing more clarity on how Iraqi Sunnis are likely to fare in the most recent government formed by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in September 2014. It argues that “Sunni inclusion” cannot be properly understood through simply calculating the sectarian composition of the Iraqi government as a measure of representation. Rather, it is necessary to analyze policies on specific issues that are of particular concern to a majority of Iraqi Sunnis, including most prominently de-Ba`athification and the structure of the Iraqi security forces.
Sunnis in the First Maliki Government
Sunni inclusion has had different meanings at different stages in Iraq’s post-2003 politics. Following the Sunni boycott of the elections in January 2005, Sunni inclusion in the constitution-writing process was to some extent achieved through the co-option of selected Sunni representatives into the drafting committee. These representatives were primarily affiliated with a Sunni Islamist party known as the Islamic Iraqi Party (IIP). The extent to which this amounted to meaningful inclusion can be debated. During the course of the process, the IIP was reluctantly converted to a pro-constitutional party. It did achieve some last-minute concessions regarding options for future constitutional reform, but by and large its efforts were rejected by the community it claimed to represent: the overwhelming message of those who participated in the constitutional referendum in October 2005 in Sunni areas was a “No” to the new constitution, and a two-thirds majority rejection materialized in the heavily Sunni Arab provinces of Anbar and Salah al-Din. With Kurds and Shi`a minorities participating in large numbers in the mixed (but Sunni Arab-dominated) Mosul, the criteria for a three-province, two-thirds rejection of the constitution as a basis for its non-approval did not emerge, and the draft constitution was adopted against the desire of Sunni public opinion.
In the first Nuri al-Maliki government from 2006-2010, there was initial Sunni inclusion in terms of ministerial representation by IIP (as part of the Tawafuq coalition), as well as by other political parties elected by Sunni and secular voters. Yet few of these ministries were particularly prominent. With one exception, they did not belong to the category of positions Iraqi politicians refer to as particularly sought-after “sovereign ministries,” which include: security, oil and finance. Nevertheless, a Sunni general of the Iraqi army without any political connections eventually became defense minister, and Sunni parties also controlled the deputy premier position. Additionally, Tawafuq/IIP controlled one of the three presidency-council positions, which was significant as a (temporary) veto-wielding institution in the first parliamentary cycle from 2005-2010. During the peak of sectarian violence in 2007, however, ministers from IIP/Tawafuq withdrew from al-Maliki’s government in protest of its failure to stop sectarian killings.
Tawafuq returned to government again in May 2008. Still, some indication of the fragmented nature of “Sunni inclusion” in the first al-Maliki government was evident from the local election results in 2009, where the parties that were the established “Sunni” forces—in the sense that they were part of the al-Maliki government—by no means managed to secure the majority of the Sunni vote. Instead, local parties affiliated with the tribal Sahwa (Awakening) movement in Anbar and former Ba`athists in Mosul emerged to capture large slices of the Sunni vote. For their part, instead of mending fences with al-Maliki, the IIP seemed more attracted to a role in the burgeoning opposition to the prime minister that emerged among various Iraqi parties even as they continued to be part of his government. Particularly interesting in this regard was the emergence of a Sunni speaker of parliament from the IIP in March 2009, Ayad al-Samarraie. He was clearly backed by al-Maliki’s opponents, including the ISCI and the Kurds.
Sunnis in the Second Maliki Government
This situation prompted political reconfiguration ahead of the second parliamentary vote in March 2010. The Sunni governor of Mosul, Athil al-Nujayfi, emerged as a prominent force together with his brother, Usama. Tareq al-Hashemi, formerly an important figure in IIP, broke away to form the more secular Tajdid movement. They were joined in an alliance with other parties that were more secular in orientation and discourse, but that in practice were backed by a majority of nominally Sunni voters: the Iraqi National Accord of Ayyad Allawi and the Hiwar front of Saleh al-Mutlak. Altogether, they formed the massive Iraqiyya alliance, which was a Sunni-secular alliance. Many portrayed Iraqiyya as a “Sunni” coalition (its opponents were more clearly Shi`a Islamist), but this was not an accurate representation of the alliance. Of course, some of the constituent parts were all-Sunni parties and to some extent spoke a sectarian language. Yet Iraqiyya’s leading figure, Ayyad Allawi, is a staunchly secular Shi`a who cannot be reduced to a “stooge” for Sunnis, in whose name he has never spoken.
Due to the combination of Sunni and secular interests in Iraqiyya, it is difficult to dissect the question of Sunni inclusion in the second al-Maliki government, which came into existence with Iraqiyya’s reluctant backing in December 2010. As part of the government formation deal, Iraqiyya had demanded control of an extra-constitutional national policy council that was supposed to be created as a check on prime ministerial power (it was never implemented). This particular demand may have been more of a personal goal of Allawi than a meaningful “Sunni demand.” On the other hand, there was strong Sunni representation in the new government in terms of heavyweight positions held by individuals with solid Sunni support. Saleh al-Mutlak of the Hiwar bloc was deputy premier and Rafe al-Isawi, a prominent Anbar politician, was minister of finance. Tareq al-Hashemi was vice president, now with only ceremonial powers but still seen as symbolically important. Other Sunni Iraqiyya figures held portfolios of industry, agriculture, education and technology. On paper, at least, there was an adequate level of Sunni representation in terms of key Sunni politicians receiving key ministerial portfolios.
One exception to the general participation of Sunnis in the second al-Maliki government, however, concerned security. It is worth noting that al-Maliki kept these positions away not only from Sunnis, but from everyone with an independent power base (e.g., other Shi`a parties). Instead, he kept control of the security ministries for himself as acting minister, and eventually delegated defense to a Sunni who he, rather than the Iraqi parliament, had selected: Sadun al-Dulaymi. Al-Dulaymi’s role as defense minister under al-Maliki soon came to highlight the concept of the “unrepresentative Sunni”: portrayed as marionettes with little or no popular backing, figures like al-Dulaymi were criticized for being tools of al-Maliki that provided him with easy goodwill in certain Western circles who did not go far beyond counting the number of ministers of each sect, quite regardless of the question of their representativeness.
During the years of the second al-Maliki government, it became increasingly clear that al-Maliki attempted to eliminate several Sunni leaders he perceived as threatening. By using the judiciary in what seemed to be politically motivated prosecutions, he first targeted Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi in December 2011 (days after the last U.S. forces had left Iraq) and then Finance Minister Rafe al-Isawi in December 2012, forcing both men out of their positions, and, eventually, out of the country.
At the same time, however, other Sunnis continued to work with al-Maliki in government, including some who held substantial popular mandates based on their personal votes in the March 2010 elections. A problem in evaluating their support for al-Maliki, however, was the tendency of some Sunni ministers to hold on to their positions even in cases where they clearly (and outspokenly) differed with the general direction of cabinet policy. It is not clear whether they supported the government, as they continued to serve as al-Maliki’s ministers even though they criticized him publicly. A case in point is Saleh al-Mutlak who attained the curious distinction of declaring his premier a dictator only to continue to work with him.
Sunnis in the Abadi Government
As Iraq went to parliamentary elections in May 2014, the political climate had hardened in a sectarian direction nationally and regionally because of the conflict in Syria and the growing manifestation of military activities by ISIL in Iraqi territory. This turn had prompted protests against the al-Maliki government in many Sunni areas, such as in Falluja and Ramadi, beginning in December 2012. But the protests did not translate into new parties that participated within the established framework of parliamentary politics in Iraq. Instead, the Sunni parties that contested the elections in 2014 were largely the old elites who had dominated Sunni Iraqi politics during the entire post-2003 period. Even many of the ministers of the second al-Maliki government were reaffirmed as MPs despite having done nothing more than hold on to their prestigious offices without achieving any policy influence under al-Maliki’s rule. This suggests that the Sunni grievances that were articulated in protest movements in the year before the elections did not produce representative MPs who would participate within the framework of the elected Iraqi parliament.
Soon after the elections in May 2014, a new coalition of mostly Sunni parties that had won seats in parliament coalesced, this time without the secular Allawi, and therefore with a more clear-cut Sunni sectarian profile. Shortly after the new parliament had convened, these parties won a major victory by having Sallim al-Jibburi, a former IIP politician who in 2014 was elected to parliament on a local list of Sunni politicians in Diyala, elected as parliament speaker. In the government formation itself in September 2014, the Sunnis had less leverage since al-Abadi probably enjoyed sufficient support to get confirmed without their votes. Still, they opted to take part in his government and achieved a very respectable number of ministries—around seven—although this time service ministries only. The absolute number of Sunni ministers was slightly lower than in the second al-Maliki government, but the overall size of the cabinet was also somewhat smaller. No security ministers from any party were approved in the main parliamentary vote on the new cabinet on September 8, 2014.
In sum, it is hard to initially see a meaningful difference from al-Maliki to al-Abadi as far as inclusion of Sunnis is concerned. For the question of representativeness, though, more important than numbers are political affiliations. The Sunni ministers in al-Abadi’s new government are mostly individuals who have been in the political process since 2003. Of course, they have been mostly closer to Sunni sectarian leaders like Nujayfi than to the Shi`a Islamist al-Maliki (the exception being Qutayba al-Jibburi), but they were never irreconcilable with al-Maliki. Conversely, Sunnis who are in open revolt and are considering aligning themselves with ISIL are not represented. Additionally, the tribal and local Sunni politicians with whom al-Maliki sought to improve ties in Anbar and Salah al-Din are poorly represented in the al-Abadi government and it remains to be seen how they will respond to the emergence of a new prime minister.
A key conclusion from the experience of past Iraqi governments in the post-2003 era is that Sunni representation through the inclusion of names with a bit of Sunni constituency is in itself no guarantee for a meaningful inclusion of Sunnis—in the sense of policies that take into consideration demands that are common among Iraqi Sunni voters. There are imbalances with regard to which Sunni MPs become cabinet members, and there are further imbalances with regard to which Sunnis take part in elections and elect their representatives at all.
Accordingly, the key to understanding the viability of the new al-Abadi government is not so much to study its personnel in isolation, but to look for direction of policy. That is admittedly a challenge, due to the fact that the attempt by Iraqi politicians to stay on time with the government formation this year (after much urging by the higher Shi`a clergy in particular) has meant that it is precisely discussion about ministerial positions, rather than policy as a whole, which has accounted for most of the political negotiations between the participating blocs. Sunni inclusion will require addressing the Iraqi security forces (including army and police deployments in Sunni-majority areas), de-Ba`athification (a revised law that attempts to satisfy common Sunni demands is underway but needs to get passed), the option of federalism (initiatives for transforming some Sunni provinces to regions were unceremoniously and illegally shelved by the al-Maliki government), and developments on the federal supreme court bill (and in particular the authority that will be granted to Shi`a clerics).
There is, however, one appointment issue that remains relevant to Sunnis: the security ministries. These portfolios were left unfilled after the first vote on the al-Abadi government. There is an expectation that a Shi`a official will be appointed to lead the Interior Ministry and a Sunni official to lead the Defense Ministry. The most realistic hope for Iraqi Sunnis will be to have a Sunni professional military officer without any political ties (but capable of keeping al-Abadi at arm’s length) appointed as defense minister, and an interior minister without close ties to Shi`a militias. In choosing how to deal with these vacancies, al-Abadi will be sending perhaps his most important signal about whether he intends to be more serious about “Sunni inclusion” than al-Maliki ever was.
Reidar Visser is a historian of Iraq. He has written three books on Iraqi politics: Basra, the Failed Gulf State (2005), An Iraq of Its Regions (2007) and A Responsible End? (2010).