Four forged ministerial lists were circulated and were said to represent the composition of Iraqi Prime Minister designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government, yet it was reported that the fifth list that has been circulating for the past two days is the legitimate one.
The list which includes 14 ministers could be passed by the parliament, while the rest of the portfolios are to be discussed between Kadhimi and the political blocs that represent the three main components in the country (Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds).
The PM-designate has not yet named figures who would head the defense and security portfolios.
Reasons behind this postponement vary. Some say differences over the interior and defense portfolios are limited between Sunnis and Shiites, while others suggest that Kadhimi wants to nominate both ministers himself without resorting to blocs or components.
This approach, however, raises doubts among parties close to Iranian-backed militias who fear Kadhimi would take strict measures against them on weapons control, which could also strips Sunni and Shiite blocs from their influence in the security and military institutions.
Many political blocs, especially Shiites, were quick to disavow the leaked names, which sources claimed that Kadhimi has presented during his meeting with the key Shiite leaders.
Iraq's three Shiite blocs Hikma, Sairoon, and the State of Law have affirmed that they didn’t propose any of the figures included in the PM-designate’s lists.
The proposed composition includes several new figures, including Harith Hassan for foreign affairs, Hisham Daoud for culture, Mohammed Shiaa al-Sudani for agriculture, Khalid Battal for planning, Nizar Qahtan for electricity, Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum for higher education, Jabbar Laibi for oil, Maher Hammad for trade, and Kadhim al-Sahlani for transportation, among others.
A well-informed political source told Asharq Al-Awsat that “some of the figures included in the new government formation are true,” adding that “changes in names might take place because they are still in the negotiation phase.”