Iraq is about to have a new prime minister and a new cabinet. The prime minister-designate, Mohammed Allawi has been tasked with forming a new government amid continuing protests, resolving the struggle between Iran and the U.S. over Iraqi territories and addressing the country's economic crisis. His nomination is unlikely to bring any change to the country, as he is not powerful enough to lead a fundamental change in the countries' politics and to bar Iran from imposing its influence.
Iraq has been dragged into a political crisis after thousands of people started protesting the government over the deteriorating economy and life standards last October. Yet, the protests soon turned out to be a call for profound change – the ousting of political elites and stopping the sectarian segregation at the hands of foreign powers, chiefly of Iran. The killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force by the U.S. last month in Baghdad fueled the tensions between Iran and the U.S. Iraq is the main battlefield for the two countries. Under these circumstances, it is certain that Allawi will fail to mitigate each party, most importantly the Iraqis.
Iraqis seem to be quite angry with the government. However, their anger is not toward certain people but toward the system as a whole. When the protests erupted, the Iraqi government preferred using excessive power instead of reconciling with people. According to unconfirmed data, hundreds of people died, but the number might well have exceeded thousands. Life has almost stopped in many cities, especially in the southern ones. In addition, Iran emerged as if it was an internal actor and helped the Iraqi government suppress the protesters.
Besides, the Iraqi political parties have constantly been failing to reach a consensus. Allawi is also not supported by each political party in the parliament. He faces objections from Sunni Arabs and Kurds. He warned that he would be the "first independent prime minister." He asked Iraqi lawmakers to "hold an extraordinary meeting on Monday to grant confidence to the government and to confirm to all Iraqis their willingness for reforms," by voting yes for his cabinet. Otherwise, his cabinet would be "the first independent one without the participation of the candidates of political parties." In a televised speech, he also promised the protesters that he would be "turning a new page" and redress the relations between the state and the people through undoing "previous failures."
Allawi, a former member of parliament who served two stints as Iraq's minister of communications, has spent most of his career as a long-time bureaucrat rather than a politician, claiming no party affiliation. He is known as a "less corrupted" person. However, he does not have any base and is not popular among the people. He seems to be insufficiently confident to exit the country from the ongoing political, economic and international crises. The protesters have already rejected his nomination and continued with their protests.
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