Who will Replace Sacked Iraqi Defense Minister?

Ghabban, who belongs to the Shiite Badr Organization that is headed by Hadi al-Amari, had resigned July 5 following the bloody explosions in Baghdad. The Badr Organization nominated parliament member Qasim al-Araji for the post.

“It does not make sense for the Sunni blocs to give up their [sectarian] quotas in the government and in selecting a new Ministry of Defense, leaving the matter in the hands of the prime minister, while other blocs cling to their ministerial nominees and government quotas,” Dahlaki said.

It is likely that the post of minister of defense would remain vacant for a long time for many reasons, particularly since Obeidi has been trying to return to office by appealing the parliament decisions and the investigation findings. In addition, selecting a nominee from the Sunni blocs would prompt other opposing blocs to not vote on granting confidence to the nominee.

Shiite and Kurdish blocs, on the other hand, might have different positions on the candidates. The position of the defense minister is of paramount importance, and there are concerns of politicizing it in light of the ongoing war against IS. Thus, all parties ought to select a competent and professional man for the position with utmost care and vigilance.

It is also likely that some parliamentary blocs opposing Abadi, such as the Reform Front, would throw a wrench in the process of nominating a new minister for political reasons, mainly their wish to select a minister away from sectarian quotas.

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