Iraqi political figures have made no secret that Prime Minister Hayder Abadi is on increasingly thin ice, with many openly expecting him to be removed from power any day now. Last week, reports suggested former PM Nouri al–Maliki tried to unseat him in response to his new technocrat-dominated cabinet.
The cabinet shuffle was a response to demands from Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, but Abadi has more support than just him to resist growing opposition from just about every political corner. Analysts increasingly believe Abadi’s survival is a conscious decision of both Iran and the Obama Administration.
Abadi is relatively easy to manipulate on the ISIS war, with the US making a formal deal with him to cap ground troops at 3,870, while publicly admitting they have well over 5,000 troops in Iraq at any given time.
That and the expectation that the soaring corruption problem might finally be checked by this new cabinet has both nations protecting Abadi as best they can, and keep the process going.
The cabinet is far from a done deal, with the nominated oil minister withdrawing, the Kurdish parties blasting the deal, and MPs saying they believe more than half the list will be rejected when it comes to a vote.
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