http://diyaruna.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_di/features/2019/06/25/feature-02

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Politics |

Satisfaction in Iraq as key cabinet positions filled

By Khalid al-Taie

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A photo posted on Monday (June 24th) on the Iraqi parliament’s website shows lawmakers voting on candidates for vacant ministerial positions.

Iraq's parliament on Monday (June 24th) voted to appoint new ministers to key positions in a move that has been met with satisfaction by the people of Iraq.

Iraqi MPs appointed ministers of interior, defence and justice during the 26th session of parliament since the May 2018 general elections, with 233 deputies in attendance.

Yassin Taha Hassan al-Yasseri will serve as interior minister, Najah Hassan Ali al-Shemmari as defence minister and Faruq Ameen Othman Mohammed Shawani as justice minister.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi is seen with his cabinet on October 25th, 2018, after winning parliament’s confidence. [Photo courtesy of the Prime Minister's Office]

The Iraqi parliament "succeeded in completing the cabinet after approving the names proposed by the prime minister to assume the vacant ministerial positions", Iraqi MP Abdul Khaliq al-Azzawi told Diyaruna on Tuesday.

"We have ended the ministerial vacuum and settled this important issue by choosing personalities who are mainly from inside the system," said al-Azzawi, who serves on the parliamentary security and defence committee.

Al-Yasseri, 61, was serving as an adviser in the Ministry of Interior, and previously served in various ministry positions, including director of citizenship in Wasit and al-Muthanna provinces and director of general citizenship.

Al-Shemmari, 52, has held several senior positions, including commander of the Special Operations Division, deputy commander of the Counter-Terrorism Service and secretary-general of the Ministry of Defence's supervision office.

Shawani, 62, has previously served as president of the appeals courts of Dhi Qar, Anbar and Kirkuk.

Strengthening Iraq's stability

"We hope that choosing these ministers will promote the interest of the country and represent a major step towards strengthening stability," al-Azzawi said.

"The new ministers will be responsible for many challenges and tasks," he said.

These include "protecting the homeland and the security of its citizens, fighting corruption, running their institutions professionally and efficiently, and making the changes in the jobs structure necessary to invigorate their ministries".

"This is what we stressed during our meetings with them before and after they were chosen," al-Azzawi said, noting that his committee is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the performance of the security ministries.

The appointment of the three new ministers comes eight months after parliament gave its confidence to the government headed by Adel Abdul Mahdi.

The ministries with new leaders "are directly related to public security and to the citizens’ interests", said Mohammed Walid, a resident of Baghdad's al-Ilam neighbourhood.

"Even though the vote is overdue, I believe there is still enough time for the new ministers to harness their capabilities and experience to advance their ministries," he told Diyaruna.

Cabinet is almost complete

Filling these vacant ministerial positions is a "positive step", said Adhra al-Tamimi, a resident of Baghdad's al-Shaab neighbourhood.

"The ministers have to work from now on to provide the best services to the people," she told Diyaruna.

With the new ministers, the 22-minister cabinet is now complete, with the exception of the Ministry of Education.

Education Minister Shaima al-Hayali submitted her resignation following allegations that one of her brothers had been linked to the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS).

A replacement candidate, Safana al-Hamdani, failed to gain the confidence of Iraqi MPs during Monday's session.

Parliament is due to hold a session Thursday to decide on an education minister.

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