Iraqi legislators schedule confidence vote for new government
Iraqi lawmakers say they will hold a vote-of-confidence session for Prime Minister-designate Mohammad Tawfiq Allawi later this week, following months of intense protests accusing the former government of corruption and mismanagement.
According to reports, Allawi, a 65-year-old former communications minister, was appointed as the new premier by President Barham Salih earlier this month, after the divided parliament missed a February 1 deadline set by the president to nominate someone for the post.
Allawi, whose appointment came some two months after former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned in the wake of protests, had earlier called for a Monday vote and his request was supported by his predecessor and Deputy Parliament Speaker Hassan Karim al-Kaabi.
Influential religious scholar Moqtada Sadr, whose bloc is the largest in parliament, also supports Allawi. It had warned to organize mass protests outside parliament unless the legislators backed the new premier’s cabinet in a confidence vote on Monday.
However, the Iraqi parliament, known as the Council of Representatives of Iraq, said in a statement on Monday that the confidence-vote session would be held on Thursday.
In November, Abdul Mahdi stepped down. The parliament approved his resignation in early December, but he had retained the position ever since as caretaker prime minister.