By Ramin Hosseinabadian

Iraqi parliament confidence vote to Allawi cabinet shrouded in ambiguity

March 2, 2020 - 16:15

TEHRAN – Repeated postponement of a special session of the Iraqi parliament to give confidence vote to Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi's cabinet occurs amid Washington’s attempts to create a political vacuum in Iraq.

The Iraqi parliament's special session to give confidence vote to cabinet members introduced by Prime Minister Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi has been postponed for several times. According to the latest news, a new parliament session is scheduled to be held on Sunday, March 1.

The main reason for the postponement has been reported the inadequate number of Iraqi Members of the Parliament to reach the quorum. This has led the parliament speaker for special sessions Mohamed al-Halbousi to postpone the sessions repeatedly.  The latest session of the Iraqi Parliament on addressing the competence of the new cabinet created some tensions including al-Halbousi’s argument with his deputy Hassan Al Kaabi.

The First Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Hassan Al Kaabi noted in this regard, “what happened during the session of vote of confidence to Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi’s cabinet was a violation of the constitution and a clear challenge against the will of people”, adding, “The lack of participation of some political groups in the session in the hope of gaining Quotas and spoils is completely rejected.”

Hassan Al Kaabi voiced his dissatisfaction regarding what happened in the last Parliament session and described the incident as a blatant violation of the constitution and demanded that representatives of the nation respect the constitution and the regulations of the upcoming session on the vote of confidence to the cabinet. He emphasized that not ignoring interests and Quotas by parties seemingly for national consensus in the issue of giving the vote of confidence indicates greed and bad intentions of the political groups.

Based on latest reports, what has so far prevented the process of assessing the competence of cabinet members introduced by Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi is the emergence of some political disagreements, which are mainly attributed to the protests made by the factions of the Kurdistan Region against the mechanism used by the Prime Minister in introducing the candidates for ministries. In fact, the factions of the Kurdistan Region seek to introduce their own candidates for the ministerial posts, on the other hand, Allawi does not stand the violation of his independence in introducing cabinet members.

An Iraqi political figure Ala El Khatib close to the Prime Minister announced that the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by Masoud Barzani insisted on the necessity of selecting its nominees for new cabinet ministerial seats, but Allawi did not accept.

“Allawi rejected the names proposed by the Kurdistan Democratic Party and emphasized that he himself must propose the cabinet members”, he added. Therefore, these political disagreements and the insistence on introducing certain names for ministerial seats is one the major reasons for repeated postponements of the parliamentary sessions.

The disagreement has reached a point where even some people in Iraq are chanting slogans in favor of the U.S. and, surprisingly, calling for the overthrow of the Allawi-led government which even has not been established. In this regard, the Al-qavia Al-Iraqia Coalition announced that it is striving to overthrow the government of Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi which has not been formed yet and is still waiting for the vote of confidence from the parliament. The coalition spokesman Faleh al-Issawi said that the coalition does not seek postponement in the parliamentary session for the vote of confidence, but it wants to overthrow the Allawi’s cabinet in the parliament.  

Meanwhile, however, U.S. consultations with the officials of the Kurdistan Region cannot be ineffective in the repeated postponement of the parliament special session on Allawi’s cabinet. Although U.S. terrorist leaders have repeatedly stated that they are in favor of stabilizing Iraq and called for the new government to be formed as soon as possible, they provoke their allies in the Kurdistan Region to stand up against Allawi’s government.

About two weeks ago, the Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan Region Masrour Barzani held a series of meetings with various U.S. officials. U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper had a meeting with Masrour Barzani and emphasized that Erbil is one of Washington's key allies. Barzani also held a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in which the U.S. official gave his praise to the Kurdistan Region.

It is clear that the U.S. has used all its influence over the officials of the Kurdistan Region in order to undermine the process of forming the cabinet of Allawi. The main purpose of the U.S. is to create a political vacuum and, consequently a legal vacuum in Iraq which leads to tension and chaos in the country.

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