He said, “As per the agreement between the parliamentary blocs and Abadi, the post of minister of defense ought to be held by a Sunni, but the candidate is not necessarily affiliated with the Sunni blocs in parliament, as it is no longer an issue of parliamentary quotas.”
He added, “Previously, the post of the Ministry of Defense was the share of the Mutahidoun bloc led by Nujaifi. Whereas today, all Sunni blocs making up the Union of Iraqi Forces submit a list of names for the post.”
According to parliamentarian Khaled al-Assadi, who is close to Abadi, the prime minister is waiting for the Federal Court decision on Obeidi’s appeal before nominating a new figure for the post.
In a statement to Ayn al-Iraq news agency Sept. 4, Assadi said, “We believe that Abadi is waiting for the Federal Court decision on Obeidi’s appeal before nominating a new candidate. Selecting a new defense minister will take some time and will not be settled in the next few days given the importance of the post.”
However, member of parliament Raad al-Dahlaki of the Diyala Is Our Identity coalition, led by Jabouri, told Al-Monitor that it is unlikely Obeidi will reassume his post. “We have turned the page on former Minister of Defense Khaled al-Obeidi. We are now in the process of choosing a new minister.”
He said, “We fear that the disagreements between the blocs over the name of a new candidate would delay the naming of a new defense minister in these pressing times, where the Iraqi army is waging a war against the Islamic State [IS].”
Dahlaki added, “Sunni blocs have no objection to the nomination of any candidate, even if the suggested names are not part of the Sunni blocs, as long as the candidates are competent and have expertise. We hope that the Shiite coalition would follow in the footsteps of the Union of Iraqi Forces in nominating a new minister for the Ministry of Interior to replace outgoing Minister Mohammed al-Ghabban.”