Abadi fills ministerial posts fearing Maliki may dismantle cabinet: MP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – An Iraqi member of parliament on Monday claimed the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi was rushing to fill the sacked ministerial posts before the cabinet reached the minimum required number of ministers.
The Iraqi parliament approved the appointment of the new Minister of Defense Erfan al-Hiyali and Qasim al-Araji as the Minister of Interior.
The two mentioned posts were empty for months.
The former Interior Minister Mohammed al-Ghabban resigned after a massive truck bomb in the center of Baghdad in July 2016.
Meanwhile, the Defense Minister post remained empty since August 2016 after Khalid al-Obeidi was sacked from the parliament.
“We received the CVs of the two new ministers a few hours before holding the parliament meeting to appoint them,” an Iraqi member of parliament Ashwaq Jaff told Kurdistan24.
“The CVs should have been sent much earlier so we could review whether the information provided was true,” she continued.
Jaff added Abadi was rushing to fill the empty ministerial posts before Nouri al-Maliki, the former Prime Minister of Iraq, dismantled his cabinet which currently leads the largest bloc in the parliament.
The Iraqi MP noted five ministerial posts were empty and now three remained: Trade Minister, Industry and Minerals Minister, and Finance Minister.
“Six more ministers from Abadi’s cabinet will be summoned to the parliament where confidence might be withdrawn from many of them,” Jaff revealed.
According to her, Maliki was trying to gain power by sacking many ministers from Abadi’s cabinet until it passed the minimum number of representatives which would result in a cabinet collapse.
The MP also mentioned Abadi was against the newly appointed Minister of Interior, but all of a sudden he presented him as a nominee.
She claimed Abadi agreed to appoint Araji because he knew Maliki’s bloc would not vote against the move.
On Monday, two more nominees were presented for the Trade and Industry Ministers’ posts, but both were rejected after failing to receive the necessary votes for appointment.
The Finance Minister position remains empty after the Iraqi parliament withdrew confidence from Hoshiyar Zebari in September 2016, accusing him of corruption in his ministry.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Kamaran Haji Omar contributed to this report)