Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder Abadi’s position has been growing ever more tenuous in recent weeks, and his final capitulation to nominate a technocrat cabinet long demanded by reformists did little to improve his chances, as he’s been unable to get that cabinet confirmed by parliament, and indeed has had more water bottles thrown at him by MPs than parliament has had votes in the last two weeks.
Anger over the lack of progress on the cabinet led to protesters storming the heavily-fortified Green Zone, further punctuating how little control Abadi, or indeed anyone in the government, has over the situation anymore, leaving open the question of what comes next.
Desperate to show his authority, Abadi is ordering mass arrests of protesters, but faces serious risk if he tries to follow through on that, as while the protesters left voluntarily, they also made it very clear they’ll be back if their demands aren’t met.
Whether it’s the few hundred protesters who got into parliament, the few thousand who entered the Green Zone, or the hundreds of thousand who have rallied in the city some days, the reform movement is getting huge support, and Abadi’s inability to deliver even the modest reforms he committed to months ago is killing his credibility, and is likely bring the issue to a head.
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