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Who is Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraq’s new PM?

Mustafa AL Kadhimi is new Prime Minister of Iraq
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Ground Report | News Desk

Iraq’s parliament gave vote of confidence to the Iraq’s former intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi was sworn in as the country’s new prime minister and his partial Cabinet in the wee hours of Thursday.

Kadhimi become Iraq’s first proper Prime Minister after Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned in November 2019 due to massive anti-government protests.

Parliament approved 15 ministers out of a prospective 22-seat cabinet in a vote of confidence.

Five ministerial candidates were rejected while voting on two ministers was postponed, leaving seven ministries still empty, including the key oil and foreign affairs positions.

Who is Mustafa-al-Kadhimi?

Mustafa Abdul-Latif, known as Al-Kadhimi, was born in Baghdad in 1967. Al-Kadhimi belongs to al-Gharib tribe, and moved with his family from Al-Shatrah town in Dhi Qar province to live in the capital Baghdad in 1963.

Al-Kadhimi who studied Law at Al-Turath University was responsible for reforming the service to be more effective and to meet international standards.

His father Abdul-Latif al-Gharibawi had political and partisan affiliations as he was representative for the National Democratic Party in Al-Shatrah.

He had served as the editor for The Weekly, an Iraqi journal owned by President Barham Salih, the man who has now nominated him for candidacy, according to The New Arab.

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Kadhimi also ran a column focusing on Iraqi political affairs on the online Middle East news site Al-Monitor, documenting testimonies associated with the repression exercised by Saddam’s regime.

Kadhimi, who returned to Iraq in 2003 and began leading intelligence services in 2016, has faced opposition from Iraq’s powerful Iran-backed Shiite political groups, who view him as a threat.

Former Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi appointed him as the head of the National Intelligence Service in June 2016, after he worked as a political mediator between various Iraqi parties in many crises.

Al-Kadhimi does not possess any citizenship other than Iraqi, although he possessed a political asylum passport granted to him by the UK during his opposition to Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Iraq has been roiled by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to resign.

Popular protests demand the departure and accountability of all political figures accused of corruption and wasting state funds since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.

Mustafa Al Kadhimi reportedly has strong ties with the United States and is known for his practical approach. He will become Iraq’s first real prime minister after the resignation of former PM Adel Abdul Mahdi due to persistent anti-government protests. Mahdi had become a caretaker Prime Minister post his resignation.

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Anti government protest

Iraq has been roiled by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to resign.

At least 496 Iraqis have been killed and 17,000 have been injured since the protests began on Oct. 1, according to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights.

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