THE CHALLENGE OF IRAQ ACHIEVING REAL PROGRESS AGAINST CORRUPTION

The High Council for Combatting Corruption has been making headlines since it was established as the Iraqi government’s latest effort to show its commitment in fighting corruption. At the annual Sulaimani Forum organized by the Institute of Regional and International Studies, the majority of speakers seemed to be in agreement that the problem in Iraq is corruption, putting greater pressure on the government’s new initiative to succeed.

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IRAQ’S HIGH COUNCIL FOR COMBATTING CORRUPTION EXPLAINED

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi established ‘The High Council for Combatting Corruption’ to tackle rampant corruption under executive order number 70. The establishment of the council comes just as Transparency International published its recent annual report, classifying Iraq as the sixth most corrupt country in the Arab region and amongst the top 12 most corrupt countries in the world.

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2019: IRAQ’S CHALLENGES AHEAD

Last year, I wrote that the continued fight against Da’ish, the relationship between Baghdad and Erbil and combating corruption posed the most significant and most pressing challenges ahead of Iraq in 2018. As we have entered 2019 under a new government, the hurdles facing Iraq have shifted more towards administrative challenges.

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THE 2018-2022 IRAQI GOVERNMENT PROGRAM: A CRITICAL REVIEW

Forming Iraq’s new government was nearly concluded on October 25, 2018, as parliament voted in Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, 14 ministers and approved the government program Abdul-Mahdi’s team developed. The next phase to vote in the remaining ministers is supposed to happen on November 4, but there remain differences on the critical government posts of Defense and Interior. Whether Abdul-Mahdi’s cabinet is completed or not, the program that is supposed to be authored by technocrats undoubtedly does not meet expectations.

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WHAT TO MAKE OF IRAQ’S NEW GOVERNMENT?

October 24, 2018 marked another important day in Iraq’s modern history. Prime Minister-Designate Adil Abdul-Mahdi presented his government program and cabinet formation to parliament for their approval, and the next day the country witnessed a peaceful transition of power. However, the swearing in of Abdul-Mahdi’s government did not go as smooth as many had expected. Continue reading “WHAT TO MAKE OF IRAQ’S NEW GOVERNMENT?”

THE NONEXISTENT INTRA-SHIA WAR IN IRAQ

Just like the Times Magazine “The End of Iraq” cover that became a symbol of sensationalist journalism failure on Iraq in 2014, there is a new wave of doomsday analysis that started to build up in August and September predicting a new war in Iraq, this time between different Shi’i factions. The Institute for the Study of WarForeign Affairs, and the Wall Street Journal predicted ‘pro-Iran’ parties like Hadi Al-Ameri’s Fateh and the popular mobilization forces will clash against ‘pro-U.S.’ forces, represented by the likes of Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Sa’eroon and Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s Nasr. This scenario is falsely conceived despite other outlets following suit in pushing this narrative.

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THE POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF ELECTING BARHAM SALIH AS PRESIDENT

As Iraq was facing a political deadlock after the election in which none of the contenders won a majority to dominate the political scene, the main political parties have managed to agree on new leadership to form the new government.Continue reading “THE POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF ELECTING BARHAM SALIH AS PRESIDENT”

UPDATE ON IRAQ’S GOVERNMENT FORMATION

On Saturday, August 19 Iraqis were eagerly waiting for the largest parliamentary bloc to be announced, after news leaked that a meeting between five major political groups was going to be held at Babylon Hotel in Baghdad later in the evening. This came after Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court announced the same day that it had ratified the election results upon the conclusion of the manual vote recount and sorting process. Continue reading “UPDATE ON IRAQ’S GOVERNMENT FORMATION”