April 7, 2020 / 12:06 AM
Iraqi Shi’ite factions nominate intelligence chief for PM

Five Shia factions in the Council of Representatives reportedly agreed on Sunday, April 5, to nominate Iraq’s intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kazemi for prime minister, raising the prospect of a clash between prime ministerial nominees.

According to Anadolu news agency, Head of the National Wisdom Movement Hamid Maala, Head of the Fateh Alliance Hadi al-Amri, and representatives from the State of Law Coalition and two other major Shia factions agreed to nominated al-Kazemi as an alternative to Adnan al-Zurfi, who was tapped by President Barham Salih last month to form a government.

Together the factions control 106 seats in the 329-seat Council of Representatives.

Al-Kazimi has been the head of the intelligence services since 2016 and does not belong to any particular party.

Following the collapse of Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi’s bid to form a government, Salih charged al-Zurfi with forming a cabinet on March 17, giving him 30 days to do so. However, his bid had run into opposition.

Under the Iraqi constitution, the president designates a representative of the largest bloc in parliament to form a government, but a persistent feature of the current impasse is a question over what constitutes that entity.

It was not immediately clear what al-Kazemi’s nomination by the Shi’ite blocs would have and what action President Salih may have to take as a result of the move.

On Saturday, al-Zurfi sent his plan for government to the Council of Representatives.

Reporter’s code: 50101