Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The incomplete cabinet.

In the latest development regarding the shape of the cabinet, sources close to the PM Maliki told New Sabah newspaper that PM Maliki might make a decision to do a wide ministerial change in his cabinet to make space for including the Dialogue Front of Salih al-Mutlaq which formerly boycotted the government.

The anticipated change will supposedly include 6 cabinet posts and the sources also mentioned that the purpose of this change is not only to include the Dialogue Front but will also involve replacing some current ministers with more qualified people explaining that some ministers were chosen in a haste merely to meet the deadline of announcing the cabinet.

As to the issue of choosing ministers for defense and interior, al-Maliki is indirectly warning the political blocs that if they fail to nominate those two ministers within a week, he will probably resort to using his constitutional right to appoint ministers on his own but those ministers will be in office on temporary basis to fill the gap (for six months until permanent ministers are chosen).

This shows clear that the UIA and Accord Front are still far from reaching agreement on this subject and in fact this dispute has even extended to reach the inner corridors of those blocs.

In a comment on this subject, Mr. Hameed Mousa from the Iraqi list said he expected the ministers to emerge from names already proposed and that no new names are likely to surface but said the major blocs are being very careful (I'd say obsessively careful) in studying the names that "if three blocs find one name unobjectionable, a fourth bloc will object so in this case we will need more time" while Khalaf al-Ilayan from the Accord Front said his bloc had presented some new names for filling the defense post including Abdul Qadir Mohammed (commander of ground forces), Ahmed Nouri al-Samerra'i and Nouri Ghafil, a general in the former army and a resident of al-Anbar province and pointed out that if general Ghafil gets appointed, he will contribute positively to improving security in the western region of Iraq.

Observers here and I myself do not expect any considerable progress to happen soon and it seems that there will be more obstacles to deal with before the cabinet is complete.
It makes me feel that the sound and smoke of explosions in Baghdad yesterday and today were not enough to wake up our politicians from their deep sleep.

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