Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Ministers Named, But Iraq’s Cabinet Still Incomplete

It’s been eleven months since Iraq’s parliamentary elections, and the full government has still not been named. When Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced his cabinet on December 21, 2010, 12 positions were not filled. On February 13, 2011 eight ministers were finally named, leaving four still vacant.

The new ministers were divided between the three largest blocs in the ruling coalition. The Iraqi National Coalition (INC), made up of Maliki’s State of Law, and the Sadrist-Supreme Council led Iraqi National Alliance received three ministries. Those were Amir Hassan al-Khuzai of Maliki’s Dawa, Minister of National Reconciliation, Ibtihal al-Zaidi, Minister of State for Women’s Affairs, and the Sadrist Adel Muhoder Radi al-Maliki, Minister of Public Works. The Kurdish Coalition walked away with three positions, Khayrulla Hassan Babakir Mohammad of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Minister of Trade, Adeeb Sahib Qahraman, Minister of State, and Bashir Hassoun, Minister of Civil Society. Finally, Iyad Allawi’s Iraqi National Movement got the Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Jamal Batikh of Allawi’s Iraqi National List, and the Minister of Electricity Raad Shallal al-Ani. This was part of the power sharing agreement brokered by Massoud Barzani in November. In total, the National Coalition has 17 ministries, the National Movement 11, the Kurdish Coalition six, the Centrist Alliance, consisting of the Unity of Iraq and the Iraqi Accordance Front, two, and the Christian Assyrian Democratic Movement ended up with one.

There are still four vacant ministries. Those include the three powerful security ministries, Defense, Interior, and National Security. Maliki is currently holding all three, but the National Coalition is supposed to get Interior and National Security, while the National Movement Defense. Allawi’s List has been naming nominees for Defense, but Maliki has rejected them all, setting off a new dispute between the two. The Iraqi National Movement is increasingly claiming that the premier has reneged on the power sharing agreement as a result. The Kurdish Alliance also attempted to disrupt the deal they brokered by demanding one of the security posts. They claimed one of them should be theirs because of the ethnosectarian basis the government was being divided up upon. Instead, they received one of the intelligence agencies. The final open spot is the Minister of Planning, which is being run by Minister of Labor Nassar Rubaie for now.

It could be months yet until the final cabinet is named. Maliki appears ready to drag the process out until he receives some sort of concession from Allawi in return for agreeing to his nominee for the Defense Ministry. That could be over the National Council for Strategic Policy, which Alliaw is supposed to head, but has yet to be created by parliament. With or without the full compliment of ministers, the new government is going to be a train wreck waiting to happen. With so many different parties and lists included there is no way that it can agree upon any major decision just like the former government. That could work to the benefit of the premier who became more autocratic in the last two years. With all the divisions, he could have free reign again to do what he wants regardless of what others think.

Iraq’s 2010 Cabinet By Lists

Iraqi National Coalition

Minister of Higher Education Ali al-Adeeb
Minister of Housing Muhammad Darraji
Minister of Human Rights Muhammad Shaia’a Sudani
Minister of Justice Hasan Shammari
Minister of Labor Nassar Rubaie
Minister of National Reconciliation Amir Hassan al-Khuzai
Minister of Oil Abdul Karim Luabi
Minister of Public Works Adel Muhoder Radi al-Maliki
Minister of Sports Jasim Muhammad Jaffar
Minister of State Abdul al-Mahdi al-Mutayri
Minister of State Hassan al-Sari
Minister of State Bushra Hussain Saleh
Minister of State for Government Spokesmanship Ali al-Dabbagh
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Safi al-Din al-Safi
Minister of State for Women’s Affairs Ibtihal al-Zaidi
Minister of Tourism Lewaa Smisam
Minister of Transportation Hadi al-Ameri

TOTAL – 17 ministries

Iraqi National Movement

Minister of Agriculture, Izz al-Din al-Dawla
Minister of Communication Tawfaq Allawi
Minister of Education Muhammad Tamim
Minister of Electricity Raad Shallal al-Ani
Minister of Finance Rafi Issawi
Minister of Industry Ahmad Nasser al-Dali Karbuli
Minister of Science and Technology Abdul Karim al-Samarraie
Minister of State Salah Muzahim Darwish
Minister of State Salah Jabouri
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Turan Matthaw Hassan
Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Jamal Batikh

TOTAL – 11 ministries

Kurdish Coalition

Minister of Civil Society Bashir Hassoun
Minister of Foreign Affairs Hoshyar Zebari
Minister of Health Muhammad Amin
Minister of Immigration and Displacement Dindar Shafiqq
Minister of State Adeeb Sahib Qahraman
Minister of Trade Khayrulla Hassan Babakir Mohammad

TOTAL – 6 ministries

Centrist Alliance

Minister of Culture Sadoun Dulaimi
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ali al-Sajri

TOTAL – 2 ministries

Assyrian Democratic Movement

Minister of Environment Sargon Sliwa Lazar

TOTAL – 1 ministry

Vacant Ministries
Minister of Defense – Currently held by Prime Minister Maliki
Minister of Interior – Currently held by Prime Minister Maliki
Minister of National Security – Currently held by Prime Minister Maliki
Minister of Planning – Currently held by Minister of Labor Nassar Rubaie, Iraqi National Coalition

TOTAL - 4 ministries


Aswat al-Iraq, “URGENT / Eight Minister voted on in Parliament – Kurdish MP,” 2/13/11

Brosek, Raman, “Al-Iraqiya calls on Maliki to hasten allocation of security ministries,” AK News, 2/10/11

Jaf, Wisam, “Maliki agreed to KBC candidate for trade ministry,” AK News, 2/11/11

Al-Mada, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Al-Zaman, “Al-Maliki Reneges on Commitments to Allawi; Frustration Intensifies,” MEMRI Blog, 1/31/11

Najm, Hayder, “a ministerial vacuum,” Niqash, 2/8/11

Saifaddin, Dilshad, “Spokesman: Kurds secured Iraqi intelligence institution,” AK News, 2/7/11

Visser, Reidar, “The Ongoing Government-Formation Process in Iraq: Phase 2 Completed,”, 2/13/11

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