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Iraqis call to end sectarian quotas for some ministries

Iraqi intellectuals and trade unionists have called for the appointment of qualified people to head government ministries rather than relying on sectarian quotas.
Iraq's Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi speaks during a press conference in Baghdad August 25, 2014. Abadi on Monday predicted a "clear vision" on a new government would emerge within the next two days, state television reported, as the country faces deepening sectarian conflict.  REUTERS/Mahmoud Raouf Mahmoud (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) - RTR43O7D

On Aug. 21, intellectuals and trade unionists met in a hotel in central Baghdad for a conference calling on Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi, who's tasked with forming a new government, to exclude some ministries from sectarian quotas. In 2003, the political blocs agreed to a quota system, with each faction having appropriate representation, and have continued to use it to this day.

Moving away from sectarian quotas will be difficult. The negotiations on the government were obstructed when some political blocs, including the Sunni-dominated National Union of Forces, demanded an increase in their share of the ministries. In addition, movements and campaigns launched by youth and civic organizations do not seem to be having any significant effect on changing the process of forming governments.

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