Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Abadi buys time with promise to change 9 ministers

Sources in PM Abadi's bloc said today that he will nominate 9 technocrats on Saturday as his candidates to fill ministerial portfolios in his promised cabinet reshuffle.

Moqtada Sadr, who had set a 45 day deadline that expires Monday for Abadi to reform his cabinet or face removal, seems to be satisfied by the news, at least for now. Sadr called the announcement “brave” and urged the PM to implement his cabinet reshuffle in no more than 2 stages, “without appeasement or fear from parties covering up for the corrupt in their midst.”

I wouldn't call it crisis averted, yet. It's still not clear if the announcement actually holds water. So far there's no direct statement form Abadi or his spokesperson. Also, as of yesterday, the major parties were still dragging their feet on nominating replacements for their to be ousted ministers. 

If today's announcement came without Abadi receiving nominations from the parties then there's a good chance that no names will be presented on Saturday. And if Abadi actually ends up presenting 9 names on Saturday that were not nominated by their parties, then getting a confirmation vote in Parliament will be quite a feat.

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