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Iraq's new premier meets with cabinet

Iraq's new government has held its first cabinet meeting in Baghdad.
Iraqi Prime  Mohammed Shia al-Sudani meets with his cabinet on Oct. 28, 2022 in Baghdad.

Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani, who received a vote of confidence yesterday in the Iraqi Parliament, commenced his duties today. Sudani, together with 21 of his ministers, received a vote of confidence Thursday night. The parliament also voted to approve the government's program.

The new premier officially assumed his duties as prime minister and commander-in-chief of the armed forces in a handover ceremony with former Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at the Government Palace.

The new government immediately held its first cabinet meeting on ministerial handovers, during which the prime minister stressed the need to “avoid making hasty decisions" and "changes and modifications," warning against "marginalization and exclusion." He noted that "all those present are employees of the Iraqi state."

The ministries are shared among Iraq's political parties based on sectarian quota system.

Of a total of 23 ministries traditionally represented in the cabinet, 21 ministers have been selected. The other two — the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Construction, Housing, Municipalities and Public Works — remain vacant due to lack of agreement among the political parties.

The 21 ministries are shared among the Shiite, Sunnis, Kurds and smaller minority groups. The Shiite coalition received 12 ministries, the Sunnis received six, the Kurds received four and the smaller minority parties received one ministry.

The Shiite ministries are shared among the Shiite political parties within the Coordination Framework:

Former Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's State of Law Coalition

  • Ministry of Oil: Hayyan Abdul Ghani
  • Ministry of Youth and Sports: Ahmad Al-Mubarqa'
  • Ministry of Agriculture: Abbas Jabr

Muhammad Shia Sudani’s Al-Furatain Movement

  • Ministry of Finance: Taif Sami
  • Ministry of Interior: Abdul Amir Al-Shimmery

Hadi Ameri’s Fatah Bloc

  • Ministry of Transport: Razzaq Muhaibis

Governor of Basra Asaad Al-Eidani’s Tasmim Coalition

  • Ministry of Water Resources:  Aoun Diab

Ahmad Al-Asadi’s Sanad Bloc

  • Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs: Ahmad Al-Asadi

Sheikh Qais Khazali’s Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq

  • Ministry of Higher Education: Na'im Al-Abboudi

Head of the Popular Mobilization Units Falih Al-Fayyadh’s Al-Aqd al-Watani Coalition

  • Ministry of Communications: Hoyam Abboud

Ayatollah Mohammad al-Yaqoobi’s Islamic Virtue Party

  • Ministry of Electricity: Ziad Ali Fadhil Sudani

Sheikh Humam Hamoudi’s Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq

  • Ministry of Health: Salih Mahdi

The Sunni ministries are shared between the Taqaddum Party and Azm Alliance:

Parliament speaker Muhammad Halbousi’s Taqaddum Party

  • Ministry of Planning: Muhammad Tamim
  • Ministry of Culture and Antiquities: Ahmad Fakkak Ahmad
  • Ministry of Industry: Khalid Battal

Azm Alliance, Muthanna al-Samarrai’s wing

  • Ministry of Defense: Thabit Muhammad
  • Ministry of Education: Ibrahim Namis

Azm Alliance, Khamis Khanjar’s wing

  • Ministry of Trade: Athir Daowd Salman

The Kurdish ministries are shared between the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan:

Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Fuad Hussein
  • Ministry of Construction, Housing, Municipalities and Public Works: vacant

Bafel Talbani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan

  • Ministry of Justice: Khalid Shawani
  • Ministry of Environment: vacant

The minority parties' share went to the Babylon Movement, led by Ryan al-Kildani

  • Ministry of Immigration: Ivan Faiq

The Sadrist Movement is the only main political party to refuse to participate in the government. The Sadrists, led by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, won the largest number of seats in parliament in last year's elections but they withdrew from the legislature in June after failing to form a new government. Then the Coordination Framework replaced their seats and became the largest bloc.

This is first time the Sadrists have not participated in the government. Previously, the Shiite share was divided equally among the Sadrists and other Shiite parties that are gathered today under the umbrella of the Coordination Framework.

None of the about 40 independent legislators received cabinet positions.

In his plan that was approved yesterday, Sudani promised to hold new elections within one year, offering the Sadrists and others another chance to join.

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