Baghdad, March 30 (AKnews) – One of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s long-awaited nominees for the two security ministries that have remained unassigned since the new government was inaugurated on December 21 last year already looks set to be rejected.
Just one day after the Iraqi premier named Khaled al-Obeidi to take over the Defense Ministry and Ibrahim al-Lami for the Interior Ministry, the former has faced opposition from the Accountability and Justice Commission because of his position in the former Iraqi army and has been opposed by the al-Iraqiya List because of his inexperience.
The al-Iraqiya list had announced earlier the withdrawal of Khalid al-Obeidi’s candidacy for the defense portfolio and has subsequently confirmed that it will not vote for him in parliament if Maliki nominates him.
The PR official for al-Iraqiya’s National Accord Movement Intisar Allawi told AKnews that a letter was sent to the Prime Minister confirming the withdrawal of Obeidi’s nomination but Maliki said he did not receive the letter.
Al-Iraqiya withdrew Obeidi’s nomination “because of his inability to manage the Ministry of Defense,” Allawi said, denying at the same time that his withdrawal was connected to his file with the Accountability and Justice Commission.
“Obeidi is an honest person but he doesn’t have enough experience to head the ministry”.
Meanwhile the executive director of the Accountability and Justice Commission Ali al-Lami told AKnews yesterday that does not have the right to assume the proffered post because of the post he held in the former Baathist regime’s military.
Lami went on to say that the previous nominee for the Defense Ministry, Mohsen al-Kaabi, had also been rejected for the same reason.
Meanwhile Mahmoud Othman, a leader in the Kurdistan Blocs Coalition (KBC), said that it is possible to exempt a candidate from the Accountability and Justice Law if there is political consensus.
Article 12 of the Accountability and Justice Law states that a person can be exempted from the de-Baathification procedures after the approval of the competent minister, the Accountability and Justice Commission, the Council of Ministers and Parliament.
Othman said however that his bloc has not yet discussed the matter and so was unable to say if it would vote in favor of Obeidi’s nomination if it was put to the ballot.