Iraqi Parliament Moves to Limit PM’s Power

Aims to Prevent More Unilateral 'Reforms'

Iraq’s parliament today voted to limit the prime minister’s power to change the composition of the government without parliamentary approval, amid growing anger at a recent “reform” which in August saw the PM sacking every vice president and deputy premier, nominally to prevent “corruption.”

Iraq’s government has in recent years given Kurdish and Sunni Arab politicians those deputy posts as set-asides, giving them the appearance of some power in the government, and the elimination of the positions was seen by many as a dramatic attempt at centralization. Former PM Nouri al-Maliki was also a vice president, and his supporters were harshly critical of removing his position.

Today’s vote included a complaint that the August move was “unconstitutional,” though it does not appear to attempt to roll those changes back. It does, however, insist that Prime Minister Abadi cannot make any further such changes without parliamentary approval.

The vote itself is a comparatively minor matter, however, compared to the tension that caused it, and the ruling State of Law Party, of which Abadi is a member, is said to be considering withdrawing its confidence from Abadi, potentially forcing him from office outright.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.