Iraq Parties Hold Talks on a New PM as Protests Continue

Talks began in the lead-up to Abdul-Mahdi's resignation

Last week’s resignation of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi didn’t take anyone by surprise in Iraq, least of all parliament. Officials say that talks on his replacement had already begun days before he resigned, and are now actively going on in earnest.

Which isn’t to say that finding a new premier is going to be easy. Agreeing on Abdul-Mahdi as a compromise candidate took awhile, and there are even more obstacles in the way of anyone being a long-term success now.

Large protests continue to rage, demanding wholesale reforms. The Shi’ite coalition that controls Iraq’s parliament will need to satisfy them with an appointment, but also satisfy the US and Iran, two nations that traditionally hold massive sway on Iraqi politics.

With the protesters demanding an end to foreign influence, it’s tough to imagine anyone that passes the requirements set by the US and Iran would still be palatable to the protest movement, and if he’s not, he’s probably going to have a very short tenure.

That might ultimately be what parliament has to do anyhow, with protesters seeking wholesale reforms of the political class and new elections, the path of least resistance may simply be agreeing on someone willing to oversee the reforms and leave. But just because that makes sense doesn’t mean anyone is going to want that job.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.