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Iraq's new chapter of governance
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 10 - 10 - 2018


By the Gazette Editorial Board
Almost five months after its general elections, Baghdad has finally named a prime minister to form a new government.
Adel Abdul-Mahdi was chosen by the new Iraqi President Barham Salih to form the new government that most analysts believe could bring about a positive change to life in Iraq.
Both Salih and Abdul-Mahdi are respected technocrats who are well-known for good governance. Thus, there is hope that the two leaders will focus on the social and economic troubles facing the country rather than the sectarian differences that have engulfed Iraq since the US invasion in 2003.
No one can deny the efforts exerted by the outgoing government to minimise the recurrence of violence and terrorist attacks in the country. Nor could anyone underestimate its efforts to recover the territories occupied by the terrorists of Daesh. However, no one can ignore the dissatisfaction of the Iraqi people with this government because it could not provide basic services such as the electricity and water supply, even in the richest governorates such as Basra.
Now the people hope the two new leaders, who do not belong to any influential group or party, will give priority to public interests and the daily needs of the Iraqi people as a whole.
Despite the innumerable difficulties facing the new government, there is still hope that it will be successful, especially with the strong support they are receiving from the nationalist sheikh Muqtada el-Sadr, whose group topped the poll in May's general elections.
El-Sadr promised not to nominate any of his bloc to any ministerial portfolio so as to help the new prime minister form an independent government.
"We have succeeded in pushing for an independent prime minister ... and have encouraged him to form a cabinet without being put under pressure by parties or sects," tweeted el-Sadr. "We have issued our instructions not to nominate any member of our bloc to a ministerial post in the next cabinet. We have agreed to give the prime minister one year's grace to prove his competence and to take serious steps to build up Iraq and shun autocracy."
In fact, Iraq does not need any warning that the public will rise in protest against the government, if it fails to fulfill their aspirations in such a short period of time. What it needs is a rallying of the Iraqis behind their government and promotion of parliament's role in supervising the work of the government, helping in the process of reforming the economy and in eliminating corruption.
What the new government should realise is that its success will depend on the level of public content, not on the support of any foreign power.


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