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Disputes over Security Portfolios Impede Formation of Iraq Govt

Disputes over Security Portfolios Impede Formation of Iraq Govt

Monday, 24 October, 2022 - 05:30
Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Shia al-Sudani meets with deputy parliament Speaker Mohsen al-Mandalawi. (AFP)

Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Shia al-Sudani is facing difficulties in forming a new government due to the insistence of Shiite factions on obtaining the main security portfolios in the country, revealed sources concerned with the formation process.

The sources said that meanwhile, former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was holding side talks aimed at restructuring the military leaderships that would take place after the formation of a new cabinet.

The pro-Iran Shiite Coordination Framework said on Saturday that it had held talks with Sudani over the formation of a strong government.

The hurdles Sudani is facing from Shiite parties have raised fears that he will fail in forming a government.

He issued a statement on Sunday to underscore that a committee of advisors is holding meetings with potential ministerial candidates from various political blocs.

The name of the candidates will be revealed after the committee completes its work.

A source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Shiite factions had even offered to Sudani relinquishing their shares in the government in return for assuming control over security agencies.

The possibility has raised some concerns among some factions of the Framework.

Maliki, meanwhile, wants the formation of a strong government that would win over the masses and prevent the eruption of new anti-government protests, similar to what happened in October 2019, revealed a source close to the Dawa party.

The former PM is holding side negotiations to form a government, focusing on the restructuring of top senior posts with the ultimate aim of changing military leaderships and replacing them with figures who are loyal to him.

His moves have sparked tensions among his allies in the Framework, which is also concerned that Sudani may also be allied to him.

The ties between Maliki and Sudani have come under close scrutiny. Sudani is believed to be opposed to Maliki’s goal for reclaiming his position in power, but seems incapable of stopping his drive forward.

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