Iraqi Parliament Elects President, PM-Designate Assigned to Form Govt

Adel Abdul Mahdi charged with former new govt as PM

After Monday’s parliament session failed to reach any agreements, the Tuesday meeting of Iraq’s parliament settled on Barham Salih as the new president. Salih had served as a prime minister for the Kurdistan Regional Government, and also as a deputy premier for the central government.

This was just the latest in a long process to form the Iraqi government after May’s election, and more progress was made thereafter, with Salih appointing a PM-designate charged with trying to form a new government.

The designate, interestingly, is Oil Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi. A top Supreme Islamic Council figure, Mahdi is no stranger to being in the running for premier, but as a current independent MP he was something of a surprise.

It also doesn’t clarify which bloc is forming this new government. Mahdi has potential ties with several blocs, and could fit in multiple scenarios. His position as Oil Minister is a very powerful one in the government, and shows he has substantial influence going forward.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.