Iraqi Prime Minister announces possible change of government

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani announced an imminent reshuffle in the cabinet and among a number of governors.

Sudani formed his government in Oct. 2022. Upon taking office, he pledged that he would evaluate the performance of ministers and those with special grades (governors, directors, and undersecretaries of ministries), after a period of six months.

During a recent televised interview, Sudani revealed that he was about to make changes in the ministerial lineup and at the level of governors and directors. While this announcement is seen as a commitment by the premier to the government’s priorities, political observers noted that it could open the door to a dispute with the political blocs over the concerned ministries.

Those observers believe that the parliamentary blocs will tend to defend their respective ministers in order to cover corruption files, which would stir disagreements within Parliament.

Moreover, the election of governors was only the prerogative of the provincial councils, and since those councils have been suspended for around four years, reshuffling the governors could spark a dispute between the different political parties and Sudani, according to the observers.

During the interview, the Iraqi premier pledged to restore confidence in the political system, noting that “the level of trust has declined a lot, and therefore we need credibility to cooperate with the citizens.”

Regarding his intention to carry out a cabinet reshuffle, Sudani said: “The ministers were given 6 months to conduct a real assessment in order to complete their work in the ministerial portfolios… There are tools and a plan that the government must implement, whether in the field of health, education or agriculture, and other various ministerial portfolios.”

As for the provincial council elections, which have been suspended since 2019, the prime minister said that those would not be held before Dec. 20, pointing to procedures and requirements that the Electoral Commission would not be able to complete before this date.

With regards to fighting corruption and the recovery of stolen funds – one of the priorities in the government program, Sudani said: “Recovering funds is the best way to combat corruption.”

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