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Nearly One Hundred Days In, How is Iraq’s New Government Performing? DinarDailyUpdates?bg=330099&fg=FFFFFF&anim=1

Nearly One Hundred Days In, How is Iraq’s New Government Performing?

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Nearly One Hundred Days In, How is Iraq’s New Government Performing? Empty Nearly One Hundred Days In, How is Iraq’s New Government Performing?

Post by claud39 Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:09 am


[size=32]Nearly One Hundred Days In, How is Iraq’s New Government Performing?[/size]

JANUARY 30, 2019

Nearly One Hundred Days In, How is Iraq’s New Government Performing? 20190130_AbbasKadhim_Nearly_One_Hundred_Days_In_How_is_Iraqs_New_Government_Performing

Photo: Iraqi lawmakers are seen during the first session of the new Iraqi parliament in Baghdad Iraqi lawmakers are seen during the first session of the new Iraqi parliament in Baghdad, Iraq September 3, 2018. REUTERS/Maher Nazeh

Spending the last two weeks of 2018 in Iraq offered a window into Iraqi politics, the economy, and how Iraqis are coping on a variety of issues. My trip began with a conference, and despite the socially and politically contentious issues under discussion—citizenship, identity, inclusive governance, human development, education, among others—and the diverse ethno-sectarian background of the participants, there was a consensus on the most fundamental issue: that Iraqis must build their own nation together and focus on the future, rather than dwell on the injurious past.
As we approach the one-hundred-day mark of Iraq’s new government on February 11, it is useful to assess its performance thus far in terms of political, economic, security, and cultural developments.
The Political Front: Meeting with Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi and President Salih
I met with top Iraqi leaders, President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi. Despite the difficult process to complete his ministerial cabinet and the tough challenges he inherited from previous governments, Abdul-Mahdi seemed to be focused on a clear governance agenda that includes several immediate priorities. He was mindful of the need to address corruption but stated the pressing matters are the economy, governance, and service delivery.
The visit to the seat of the presidency at al-Salam Palace took me to another branch of government where noticeable changes are underway. Iraqis had previously seen the presidency as a weak and trivial institution without any real political power. The fact of the matter is that previous presidents have not made use of the status of their office. With Dr. Barham Salih in the office, the Iraqi Presidency is taking on a new shape and acquiring a healthy level of energy, particularly in foreign relations. His state visits to several capitals in the region and beyond restored the good image of Iraq’s government. On US-Iraq relations, both sides have emphasized the importance of the alliance and the need to make it as strong as possible. The Iraqi public is already taking note of this positive change.

The Economy

Iraq’s budget, passed by Parliament on January 24, 2019, proposes one of the largest post-2003 government spending plans ($112 billion), which is mostly to cover government operation costs and salaries. Meanwhile, pressing infrastructure and reconstruction spending is far less adequate than expected. In fact, the electricity sector, where performance will be the most important referendum on the popularity of Abdul-Mahdi’s government, saw its budget slashed by a billion dollars, leaving the ministry with hardly enough money to operate at last year’s level, which is 50 percent of Iraq’s capacity to provide service during the peak summer period. Moreover, one important thing to remember about this budget is that it is based on two unknown and unpredictable variables: oil production and prices. If Iraq, for whatever reason, fails to produce 3.88 mbd or oil prices sink significantly below $56 per barrel, the government will face a dire financial problem.
Security Conditions
Baghdad is the safest it has been in a very long time. Recent UN security reports stated that November and December 2018 had the lowest levels of violence in several years. A sense of adequate security is felt on the streets and in the relaxed body language of Iraqis. Even on the highway between Baghdad and the Middle Euphrates provinces (Babylon and Najaf), once impossible to traverse without risking one’s life, checkpoints showed no signs of tension.
That said, the improved security conditions are not matched by improved services and infrastructural development. The streets and all other public facilities are in poor condition, and there is a complete lack of urban aesthetics. Basic services, such as street cleaning and general maintenance of public space are completely missing, simple law enforcement to prevent residents and businesses from encroaching on sidewalks and streets is absent, and the enforcement of traffic rules is non-existent. While not high on the list of governance priorities, these problems need to be corrected.
Cultural Life
Baghdad and the Provinces are thriving at unprecedented levels in the modern history of Iraq. At al-Mutanabbi Street, visitors can walk among many book stores and sidewalk literary exhibitions, where no book is off the list, no matter what subject or ideology it presents.
The University Kufa in Najaf continues to work on improving its national standing and seeks better international recognition. I met with its President, Dr. Mohsin al-Dhalimi, several administrators, and other faculty members. The university is recognized for its establishment of the first and only UNESCO Chair for Religious Dialogue in 2015, which accomplished a great deal of progress in a country that was nearly ripped apart by sectarian conflict.
The Way Forward
There is a lot of important work to be done at the local level in Iraq, where a great deal of decision making takes place. But Iraqi provincial governments face many challenges, including the lack of practical experience in implementing federalism and a lack of clearly defined distribution of powers between the Federal Government and provincial authorities, except for the Kurdistan Regional Government, which has more efficient self-rule.
Now is the time for the international community to seize opportunities to work with several provincial councils that show the will and aptitude to improve their governance capacity and work with more experienced foreign partners to bolster ties and cooperation. Institutions such as universities, businesses, and professional associations are a good place to start. Rebuilding Iraq from the local level is not meant to replace cooperation with the federal government, but to complement it. As a federal state, Iraq can only succeed and be viable when decentralization of power occurs between a competent central government and functional local political units—the provinces.
As interested observers continue to ponder the unfolding events in Iraq, it is important to bear in mind that evaluating a new government’s first one hundred days is a more appropriate exercise for governments in countries that enjoy good levels of stability and political order. A government that is not fully formed by the end of this arbitrary one hundred day benchmark is not likely to be in a position to deliver ground breaking accomplishments in a country that has been depleted by four decades of tyranny, a decade of severe international sanctions, and fifteen years of mismanagement and security breakdown. Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s government needs much more time and serious regional and international support before it can claim much-needed breakthroughs.
Dr. Abbas Kadhim is a senior fellow and director of the Iraq Initiative at the Atlantic Council. Follow him @DrAbbasKadhim.
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Nearly One Hundred Days In, How is Iraq’s New Government Performing? Empty After 100 days .. achievements of the government of Abdul Mahdi and the challenges ahead

Post by claud39 Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:26 am


After 100 days .. achievements of the government of Abdul Mahdi and the challenges ahead


Nearly One Hundred Days In, How is Iraq’s New Government Performing? D5404257-c597-4a66-b946-cd3632f417f1

The Iraqi government ended its sixth edition, headed by Adel Abdul Mahdi, the youngest son of the minister of knowledge, the most prominent in the Iraqi monarchy at the beginning of the last century, Abdul Mahdi al-Muttafi, one hundred days since the date of granting confidence, amid widespread debate in the Iraqi street about the promises made. 
Unlike parliament speaker Mohamed Halboussi and President Barham Salih, Abdul Mahdi has not left the country yet despite calls from 24 different Western and Arab countries, notably the United States, France, Britain, Russia and Saudi Arabia. 
Abdul Mahdi has vowed in his government program not to make any foreign visit six months before his government, which won the confidence of parliament in November last year. 
The government's Abdul Mahdi program, approved by the parliament, has 48 different paragraphs, and sets it with timetables starting with three months, then six months, and up to 48 months the duration of its government session.

Although the government is not yet complete, three of the most important ministries are still vacant due to disagreements between the blocs, namely, the defense, the interior and justice, and are currently acting. However, the government has fulfilled its first promises: opening Baghdad's closed roads since the US occupation of Iraq in 2003, The opening of the Green Zone, in addition to launching a higher council of corruption, a formation added to a series of formations and committees and bodies formed for this purpose, such as the Integrity Commission and the Financial Supervision Bureau and the Integrity Committee of the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and the offices of inspectors general in the ministries.

The government of Abdul-Mahdi succeeded in softening relations with Erbil, reaching an oil agreement that allowed re-export through the pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, adopting an internal regime for the first time for the Council of Ministers and canceling some excess rings in the trade sector between Iraq and its neighbors, The removal of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the dismissal of military officers known to be corrupt, interference with the political side and loyalty to the Islamic Dawa Party.

On the other hand, the poverty and unemployment index is still high. The basic services in liberated cities in the north and west of the country are without any progress, and are directly dependent on grants and assistance programs by international and international organizations, as well as Arab humanitarian organizations, most notably Kuwaiti and Qatari.

"The new Iraqi government has not achieved much yet, but the steps taken, albeit simple, are good, despite the shortcomings," said Majid al-Hilali, a member of the Iraqi Communist Party. Favoring armed factions and a clear concern not to clash with them. "

"Hilali said that" the government is waiting for a lot, but the political blocs are the most prominent obstacles, and it can be said that the tripartite terrorism, corruption and political blocs is hampered the work of the current Iraqi government. "

"The 100 days can not give an objective assessment because the government is incomplete, but there are signs that Abdul Mahdi is on the right track," said Husam al-Hassani, a member of the al-Hakam faction led by Ammar al-Hakim.

"We are satisfied with his administration of foreign policy in the commitment of positive neutrality, and to discuss investment opportunities with various countries in the economic field and the good level of security in Iraqi cities," he said in a press statement. "If the government was completed and the Supreme Council of Corruption succeeded, , And ended positions by proxy, there is a qualitative shift will occur in this government. "

"We intend to not travel outside the country before we make sure that the first stages of the rapid tasks of the curriculum are completed at least, and we intend to come in the fields of work and different provinces to share with our people their joys," Abdul Mahdi said while reading his government program before parliament more than three months ago.

According to a senior Iraqi official in Baghdad, the Prime Minister intends to end the crisis of completing the government during the month, a new round of talks with the various political blocs.

The source added that the new step of the government on the level of service will be activating the decisions of the Conference of donors of Kuwait and obtain funds for the reconstruction of destroyed cities, the 48 cities and a large town in northern and western Iraq, in addition to giving Basra priority in solving the problems before the summer, especially water and electricity.

He stressed that "should not wait for a political change from the government at the external level, as well as the internal, the current government is a government services primarily, and we hope that the political blocs understand this issue, the street is no longer tolerated other arguments for four more years."

While the disclosure of a member of the Committee to monitor the implementation of the program MP of the Alliance revolutionaries Hilfi, that the committee "decided to give a second 100 days to the government of Abdul Mahdi, because of the lack of a complete ministerial lineup."

Hilfi threatened over the next 100 days that the assessment would be "tough" and that the sanctions would probably lead to the dismissal of ministers after being questioned in parliament.

While the parliamentary planning committee confirmed the obstacles to the implementation of these programs, during the first 100 days of the government. 
The committee member Nasser Turki, said that "100 days ended on the start of the government work, but can not talk about it will implement its government program during this period," noting that "there are several obstacles to prevent this, including the lack of completion of the ministerial lineup, Budget bill ".
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Nearly One Hundred Days In, How is Iraq’s New Government Performing? Empty Deputy: Government work is not at the required level and Parliament will host Abdul Mahdi

Post by claud39 Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:28 am


Deputy: Government work is not at the required level and Parliament will host Abdul Mahdi


Nearly One Hundred Days In, How is Iraq’s New Government Performing? %D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%84-696x435

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She added that "government action is not at the required level so far and all the measures taken by the government is not satisfactory to the House of Representatives , " indicating that " the government slowdown increased during the current government from previous governments , and this is a threat to the continuation of the government indicator." 
Hamidi said that "the government did not provide a reassuring message seriousness in the elimination of corruption and the implementation of the ministerial program," explaining that "the House of Representatives will host Abdul Mahdi to know the achievements made within the deadline of 100 days." 
"The parliament may give Abdul Mahdi a new opportunity in the absence of convincing answers or go to take other actions against the government," noting that "all actions will be dependent on the answer of Abdul Mahdi on government work within the deadline of 100."
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi gave his government 100 days to implement the government program that was voted in the House of Representatives
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