Mustafa Al-Kazemi: The Iraqi president instructs the intelligence chief to form the new government

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AFP

Iraqi state television reported that President Barham Salih assigned intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kazimi on Thursday to form the government, the third to be assigned to command in the past 10 weeks to form a government to replace the one that fell last year after months of protests.

Al-Kazemi’s assignment came shortly after the former Prime Minister-designate, Adnan Al-Zarfi, announced his apology for assigning him to form a government after he failed to mobilize sufficient support from the political forces represented in the Iraqi parliament. Al-Zarfi announced his decision in a statement Thursday.

Iraq, which has been exhausted by decades of sanctions, war and political corruption, is facing economic crises and social unrest, as well as the crisis of the Corona pandemic, and all this in light of the caretaker administration running the country’s affairs.

Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who resigned under pressure from protests last November, is still leading the caretaker government. Mohammed Allawi, the first one chosen by Saleh to form the government, withdrew his mandate on the first of last March after four weeks he spent in failed attempts to win support.

Like Saleh’s previous choices, Al-Kazemi is considered an independent political figure who should seek to win the support of the parties representing the sectarian component in Iraq, which dominates Parliament, to confirm his government formation within a month.

Al-Kazemi, a former journalist who denounced Saddam Hussein from exile in Iran, Sweden and Britain, had returned to his country after the US-led invasion in 2003. He later served as intelligence chief since 2016 during the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

In his account on the social networking site, Al-Kazimi tweeted: “I will work tirelessly to form a government that will serve the Iraqis, protect their rights, and push Iraq towards a prosperous future.”

The pro-Iranian parties rejected Zarrafi as soon as he was assigned as they considered it a threat to their political and economic influence in Iraq and described him as an “American Joker” because of his links to the US-backed authorities that ruled the country after the 2003 invasion. Today, Thursday and the seventeenth anniversary of the occupation of the US-led coalition coincide with today The Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Al-Zarfi had indicated that he would review the influence of armed groups allied with Iran in Iraq. In the end, Kurdish parties decided on Wednesday not to endorse Al-Zarfi to decide his fate.

Oil prices and Coved 19

In the withdrawal statement, Al-Zrafi attributed his decision to “internal and external reasons”, without revealing more.

He added, “My decision to withdraw came to preserve Iraq and its supreme interests.”

Opponents believe that the system of power-sharing between the Iraqi sects prevents real political reforms called for by the thousands of protesters who took to the streets for the first time last October.

The demonstrators accused the parties of various sectarian and ethnic backgrounds, including Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish, of caring only with maintaining their positions in power.

This deadlock left Iraq in a crisis. Coved 19 killed 69 people and injured more than 1,200 people in Iraq, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. The rapid spread of the disease could lead to a rapid collapse of the health system already suffering in Iraq.

The decline in oil prices due to the spread of the epidemic in the world destroyed the Iraqi budget that was set when the price of oil was twice its present value. Without forming a government, the budget cannot be formally reviewed.





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