Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Political Disputes Reach Local Governments in Baghdad, Basra

Political Disputes Reach Local Governments in Baghdad, Basra

Saturday, 15 December, 2018 - 07:45
People shout slogans during a protest near the main provincial government building in Basra. (File Photo: Reuters)
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa

The “incomplete” Iraqi cabinet crisis reached local governments especially in Baghdad and Basra, against the backdrop of the ongoing dispute to elect new governors in both provinces.

In Baghdad, there have been no signs yet that the political crisis will be resolved during next Tuesday's session set for voting on the remaining eight ministers of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government.

Leader of Fatah alliance Hadi al-Amiri stressed last week that his coalition did not nominate Falih Fayadh for the post of interior minister, but it was rather Abdul Mahdi’s choice.

The PM was quick to respond during his weekly press conference, saying Fayadh was the candidate of political blocs, and not his.

Meanwhile, a crisis in local governance represented by the provincial councils is emerging. Local governments are a reflection of tension among political blocs which is set to grow as the date for the election of two new governors in Baghdad and Basra approaches.

The governors of Baghdad and Basra, respectively Atwan al-Atwani and Asaad al-Eidani, have been elected members of parliament and have continued to exercise their functions as governors.

The Baghdad Provincial Council is represented by the Reform bloc which was able to elect a new governor of the capital, who is also a member of the Sadrist movement.

However, the council is facing two problems: First, former governor failing to resign in order to be able to join the parliament. The second issue is including member of the Council, who presided the election session, within the accountability and justice procedures.

Binaa bloc filed an appeal with the Federal Court to thwart the election of the new governor.

In Basra, the council failed to hold a full session to elect a governor, who would replace Eidani. On Friday, the council was also unable to hold a new session.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Eidani said that “the post of Basra governor is not concerned with the political agreements that are taking place in Baghdad.”

Regarding his position as a parliamentarian, Eidani stated that he was prepared to give up the membership of the legislature to remain governor of Basra, “in order to serve the people of my province.”

Editor Picks