Iraq’s new president calls for the rapid formation of a government – News

Under the constitution, the prime minister-designate has 30 days to form a government, a deadline that has often been exceeded



Newly elected Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid salutes on Monday during his inauguration and handover ceremony at Al Salam Palace in the capital Baghdad. —AFP

By AFP

Published: Mon 17 Oct 2022, 03:58 PM

Newly elected Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid pledged on taking office on Monday to support efforts to quickly form a strong new government.

“The Iraqi people expect a new government to be formed quickly, and to be effective and united,” Rashid said during his inauguration at the presidential palace in Baghdad.

Rashid, 78, elected last Thursday to the essentially ceremonial post reserved for Iraq’s Kurdish minority, quickly appointed Mohammed Shia Al Sudani as prime minister-designate.

Sudani’s task now is to form a new government that would end a year of political stalemate in the war-torn country since general elections were held in October 2021.

But the movement of incendiary cleric Moqtada Sadr, a rival to the Sudanese in the predominantly Shiite camp in Iraq, announced on Saturday its refusal to join a Sudanese-led government, sparking fears of further delays that are common in multi-sectarian Iraqi politics. .

Under the Iraqi constitution, the prime minister-designate has 30 days to form a government, a deadline often exceeded.

“I will do my best to bring political forces closer together and sponsor a dialogue,” Rashid said, also promising to work for “strong and balanced relations with neighboring countries and the international community.”

The stakes are high for the next cabinet, with a colossal $87 billion in revenue from oil exports locked away in central bank coffers.

The money can help rebuild infrastructure, but it can only be spent after lawmakers approve a state budget presented by the new government.

About Tammy N. McFarlane

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