Sadr blames delay in new gov’t formation on lack of independent nominees

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr

Baghdad ( – The ministries of defense and interior in the new cabinet should be filled with independent cadres or commanders who played a major role in the war against Islamic State, Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr tweeted Tuesday.

In his tweet, Sadr blamed the delay in forming the new government on the lack of “independent nominees for the interior or defense ministerial portfolios”.

He stressed that the such two vital ministerial portfolios should be filled with independent cadres in order to maintain Iraq’s dignity and independence and not to allow any country to interfere in the country’s domestic affairs.

At the end of his tweet, Sadr advised Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to open the door for “great commanders, who liberated the usurped lands of Iraq from the hands of Islamic State” to run for the defense and interior ministries instead.

The parliament was scheduled to vote Tuesday on the remaining vacant ministerial portfolios but the session was delayed due to political disagreements over nominees.

Last month, the parliament approved 14 ministers of Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government, allowing him to become prime minister, but the vital defense and interior portfolios have not been filled yet along with six others.

The new government will be tasked with rebuilding much of the country after a devastating war against Islamic State and solving acute economic problems, which promoted angry protesters to stage rallies nationwide, particularly in Basra, over power and water shortages.

Sadr’s Sairoon coalition won 54 parliamentary seats in the May 12 parliamentary polls, followed by an al-Hashd al-Shaabi-linked coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s Victory bloc (42 seats).

The coalition did not win the majority needed to form a government alone but it plays a primary role in selecting the new government.

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