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Iraqi parliament set to vote on new government

One year after Iraq's elections, the designated prime minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, stands poised to form Iraq's newest government.
Iraq Human Rights Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.

BAGHDAD — Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Shia al-Sudani officially requested of parliament Tuesday evening a session to vote on his cabinet.

Sudani’s media office tweeted on Oct. 26 that the prime minister designate "is conducting the final verification process of the candidates for the ministerial positions in the new government to be submitted to the Council of Representatives on Thursday.”

In response to Sudani's request, Parliament Speaker Muhammad Halbusi set tomorrow, Oct. 27, at 2 pm for a vote on Sudani's cabinet.

The verification process includes examining candidates' academic certificates, checking their criminal records, and checking their conduct and integrity status according to the Commission of Integrity and the Commission of Accountability and Justice.

The distribution of the ministries among the participating political parties in the government is taking place based on each party's status in parliament. Each party receives certain points per the number of seats it has in parliament. The points are used for sharing the ministries among them. So each party receives a number of ministries per its points.

The ministries will be shared among Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites, in addition to minorities participating in the government.

Almost all Kurdish and Sunni parties will be participating in the government and receiving their shares. But Shiite shares will be distributed among the political parties within the Coordination Framework.

The Sadrist movement has refused to participate in the new government, despite Sudani’s repeated requests to open dialogue with leader Muqtada al-Sadr in order to secure the Sadrist a share in the government.

The majority of Shiite independent parliament members announced they will also not participate in the new government.

This is the first government after 2003 in which Sadrists are not participating. They won the largest number of seats in last year's elections but withdrew from the legislature last June after failing to form a government.

The Coordination Framework became the largest block after Sadrists withdrew and were then charged with forming a government. Dealing with the Sadrists will be one of the top challenges of the new government.

With over 130 parliament members, the Coordination Framework can provide strong support to the new prime minister in his mission. None of the previous prime ministers had this number of parliament members. Of course, this is assuming the Coordination Framework continues as a united coalition and does not split into opposing parties due to political differences.

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