Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder Abadi was in an odd position when he took office last year, a long-time Dawa Party deputy who replaced Nouri al-Maliki, the leader of that party, amid growing losses to ISIS. A little over a year later, his position is more tenuous than ever.
Replacing Maliki, who became a Vice President, Abadi was set to work on a series of moves to resolve internal sectarian tensions, reconcile with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and do something about rising corruption.
The sectarian situation is ever worsening, and while relations with the KRG briefly improved with a promise of oil revenue sharing, then worsened again when the deal didn’t go through. He answer to corruption was to sack all of the vice presidents, which not only didn’t help, it largely didn’t happen.
The vice presidents are all still openly in power, despite their offices nominally not existing anymore, and the attempt to remove them has created several powerful new enemies, including Maliki. This is splitting loyalty within Dawa, and a lot of it is going against Abadi.
Ali Adeeb, a senior Dawa official, described the situation by saying “everyone is talking about who Hayder al-Abadi will be replaced by, while Hadi Amiri, the head of the Badr Brigade, says Abadi’s reforms have amounted to nothing, adding “all they’ve done is change a few names.”
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