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Iraq's dysfunctional government by proxy

With a dysfunctional parliament unable to approve political and military appointments, the prime minister has been unilaterally filling government positions with acting officials.
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BAGHDAD — With Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi thought to be working on reforms that include the formation of a technocratic Cabinet, the issue of proxy appointments is back in the spotlight. For more than a decade, Iraqi government institutions have been run by proxy, with the prime minister appointing officials in acting capacities to lead government bodies, independent commissions and military commands because of parliament's failure to vote on candidates due to political disagreements over the distribution of positions.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Hamdia al-Husseini, a member of the parliament's legal committee, explained, “Acting officials include undersecretaries and independent commission heads, like at the Central Bank and integrity and intelligence commissions, as well as military commanders and other senior officials. They hold over 80% of the posts at government bodies, especially at the Ministries of Defense and Interior, in addition to security bodies and other important Iraqi official institutions.”

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