Turkmen demand representation in new Iraqi cabinet

Sunday, 03 April 2016

Turkmen lawmakers on Saturday demanded to be represented in Iraq’s new cabinet, saying that a lack of representation will create “crises.”

“During our meeting with the prime minister and the leaders of political blocs, we did not sense any desire to enlist a Turkmen figure among the cabinet’s candidates,” Arshad Salehi, a Turkmen MP, said during a press conference at the parliament.

Salehi, who was joined by other Turkmen MPs, also said that the Turkmen community has qualified candidates that the government should consider.

Turkmen are represented by nine MPs and had only held one ministerial post (Ministry of Human Rights) in the past. That ministry was later canceled by Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi.

Meanwhile, Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, said in a separate press conference that the prime minister of the new government needs to be “independent.”

The Iraqi parliament set 10 days before voting on Al-Abadi’s new proposed cabinet.

On Thursday, prominent Shia leader Muqtada Al-Sadr announced the end to sit-ins organized by his supporters in front of the Green Zone in central Baghdad.

Al-Sadr’s move came after Al-Abadi submitted his new cabinet line-up to parliament. Al-Sadr had warned that his bloc in parliament would vote to withdraw confidence from Al-Abadi if the latter failed to appoint a new government.

Al-Sadr’s “Ahrar” bloc holds 34 seats in the 328-seat body.

Last summer, Iraq’s parliament approved a sweeping raft of reforms proposed by Al-Abadi.

The reforms were aimed at meeting popular demands to eliminate government corruption and streamline state bureaucracy.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/24810-turkmen-demand-representation-in-new-iraqi-cabinet.

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