Iraqi parliament to vote on appointing a new cabinet

The Iraqi parliament will convene today in Baghdad for a vote of confidence on Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Allawi’s proposed cabinet.

iraq parliament vote

Photo: AFP

The Iraqi parliament will convene today in Baghdad for a vote of confidence on Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Allawi’s proposed cabinet.

Allawi was tasked on February 1 with forming a new Iraqi government after PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi resigned in November in the face of the mass protests. While Allawi has promised to pick an independent, technocratic cabinet, he has faced significant backlash from parliament already, specifically from Kurdish and Sunni blocs that fear being marginalised by a Shiite majority.

Should Allawi fail to achieve the 166 of 329 MPs required to approve the cabinet, or if he subsequently fails to put together a governing coalition, President Barham Salih will have to nominate another candidate within 15 days. However, former PM Abdul-Mahdi has said that he will quit his role as caretaker if political leaders fail to back Allawi by March 2, potentially creating an unprecedented vacuum at the top of the government.

Should Allawi win today’s vote, he has promised to both investigate the deaths of protesters and hold an early election free from “the influence of money, weapons and foreign interference” that led to the demonstrations.

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