ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – On Thursday Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi presented his reshuffled cabinet to the parliament, highlighting his ‘technocrat cabinet’ to the Council of Representatives.
The Prime Minister also gave a speech in the Iraqi parliament stating “as promised, I am presenting a complete cabinet to the Council of Representatives...it now depends upon parliament to approve, reject, or amend it.”
According to the list Abadi handed to the parliament, the new cabinet includes 16 new ministers including two Kurdish ministers who personally sent their CVs to the Prime Minister.
The cabinet reshuffle did not include the Ministries of Interior or Defense, “due to security reasons,” according to Abadi.
A Kurdish MP in the Iraqi parliament told Kurdistan24 that Abadi is not serious with the new list of ministers presented to the parliament. “He just prepared a list of names to save time for himself,” Shakhawan Abdulla asserted.
On Wednesday, Hemin Hawrami, head of the Foreign Relations Office for Kurdistan Democratic Party said on his Twitter account that “Kurds are very concerned about the situation in Baghdad; Kurdistan's complete withdrawal from Iraqi political process is very likely.”
In a joint statement, several Kurdish political parties stated last week that if Kurdistan Region's demands remain unmet in the new cabinet, they will consider withdrawing from the political process altogether.
“All options are open for us, including not participating in the new cabinet, becoming [part of] the opposition, or withdrawing from the whole political process,” a Kurdish MP in the Iraqi parliament, Ala Talabani said during the press conference on Saturday.
After Abadi’s cabinet announcement, Iraq's powerful Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr held a press conference at his protest tent set up inside Baghdad’s Green Zone. Sadr thanked Abadi for the cabinet changes, declaring that it was a "brave decision.”
Sadr called his supporters to end the sit-in at the gates of the Green Zone but will continue demonstrations throughout all provinces on Friday. “The formation of the new cabinet is the result of the sit-in," the Shia leader said, adding "the people demand reforms in the government and deserve changes."
Reporing by Baxtiyar Goran
Editing by Benjamin Kweskin