A “veto” imposed by head of Sairoon Coalition Moqtada al-Sadr on the candidate of Binaa Coalition for the post of interior minister, Faleh al-Fayyad, and on giving the education portfolio to the Arab Project, which is led by Khamis al-Khanjar, has prevented a vote on the remaining eight candidates in the new government.
The parliamentary vote on the eight ministers in Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government was postponed to Thursday as a result of the veto imposed by the Sadrist movement on Fayyad, said an informed source.
The source told Asharq Al-Awsat that attempts are underway to convince Sairoon, and Sadr in particular, to lift the veto and approve Fayyad as the only candidate for the Binaa coalition.
“The problem is that Sairoon also rejects keeping the education ministry within the share of the Arab Project, which is part of al-Mihwar al-Watani Sunni Coalition and currently has the defense, education and planning ministries,” the informed source explained.
He added that Binaa also insists on granting the education ministry to the Arab Project.
Head of Qarar Coalition Osama al-Nujaifi is also attempting to obtain the education ministry.
However, Nujaifi, being part of the Reform and Reconstruction Bloc, means that the government will find difficulty in reaching consensus until Thursday’s session.
The source stressed that the dispute on the remaining portfolios will likely continue.
Leader in the Arab Project Omar al-Humairi, for his part, told Asharq Al-Awsat that his party insists on obtaining the education ministry.
He added that its candidate is Dr. Siba al-Taie who is competent and has the required experience.
In response to a question regarding the defense ministry, Humairi said that many Sunni blocs nominated a number of candidates for this position, and therefore Abdul Mahdi should review several files before choosing the appropriate figure.
“We wanted independent figures to be appointed in the ministry’s security posts and be chosen by the Prime Minister himself,” he added.