Security Ministries on Hold

By Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

After four years of having a vacuum in the ministries of defense and interior, the issue has resurfaced in Iraq under complicated security conditions and as the country faces the Islamic State (IS) threat.

The Iraqi parliament failed to choose defense and interior ministers in its Sept. 16 session, refusing the candidates suggested by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (pictured). The session was adjourned for two days and the issue was suspended from the agenda until further notice.

During the session, no one asked how the Iraqi parliament had voted Sept. 8 for Abadi as prime minister, general commander of the armed forces and acting minister for the ministries of defense and interior, but refused to vote for Abadi’s candidates to assist him in his mission.

Abadi had firmly told the parliament that he would not be able to manage the security file without ministers of interior and defense, nominating candidates he found appropriate. The leaders of the parliamentary blocs asked for more time to deliberate.

The fact of the matter is that Iraq does not have time for stalled deliberations among the leaders of the political blocs. Abadi does not have endless options for his government, and the very real danger of IS, which is nearing Baghdad, threatens to jeopardize Abadi’s entire government.

Still, the Iraqi leaders insist on settling the issue by slicing the two most critical ministries in Iraq up like a pie for political sharing, and believe they have the time to do so.

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