Iraq’s prime minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Wednesday he would present a new cabinet line-up to the parliament for approval next week.
“The prime minister-designate... is carrying out the necessary communications with the head of parliament and the blocs to set a day” to present the cabinet, his office said in a statement on Facebook and Twitter.
The new cabinet is expected to include between 22 and 23 portfolios, with 70 percent allocated under political consensus and 30 percent for technocrats.
On the other hand, well-informed Iraqi political sources said that Sunni-Shiite differences have emerged over the number of ministries obtained by each component. The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the “Sunni Arabs have not yet submitted their candidates for ministerial positions despite the expiry of the deadline” on Wednesday.
They underlined “signs of dissatisfaction with the allocation of ministries”, pointing to the possible adoption of the quotas formula, which was implemented by the Governing Council established by Civil Administrator Paul Bremer after the occupation of Iraq.
The formula instituted by Bremer divided cabinet members on the basis of sectarian and ethnic quotas, under which the Shiites are allocated 13 ministries, the Sunni Arabs 5 ministries, the Kurds 3 and one ministry for the minorities.
A well-informed political expert told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Sunnis were seeking to have six ministries instead of five, “and prefer the oil ministry rather than the defense, because the Sunni defense minister is usually deprived of his powers.”
Meanwhile, the ministry of justice announced the issuance of presidential decrees, which appointed Barham Ahmed Saleh as president of the Republic of Iraq and referred Former President Fuad Masoum to retirement.
Other presidential decrees also referred to retirement Vice Presidents Nuri al-Maliki, Iyad Allawi and Osama Nujaifi.
In this context, Legal Expert Ahmed al-Abbadi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the recent decrees were procedural and were issued following every change of power.