The Iraqi Parliament has recently voted unanimously to completely overhaul the current Government, in an attempt to combat corruption.
This change, which has been described as a “radical turn for Iraq’s political system” by Shi’ite parliament member, Nadhum al-Saadi, could prove to bring the fractured communities of Iraq together, rather than pushing them further apart as has been feared.
This change has come with acclaim from the United Nations for Prime Minister, Haider Abadi.
The confirmation of this dramatic move came with the backing of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the leading Shi’ite cleric in Iraq. This comes alongside protests against the current political system that have been happening in earnest since early August.
The most major of the changes will see the elimination of three vice presidency positions, which have been described as largely ceremonial. They are currently held by figures who have been in power since the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime.
The hoped integration of communities could prove difficult. The proposed move intends to remove most of the Sunni representatives from government, which could further damage the already strained relationship between the two main communities in Iraq.
Sunni Arabs have now been consigned to less powerful political positions, putting them in a state of oppression rather than power. This could mean that, in the long run, Sunni resentment on Shi’ite power could grow, therefore forcing the communities further apart.
This change also centralises power under current Prime Minister, Haider Abadi. One of the positions that have been eliminated is that of Abadi’s main rival, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the former Prime Minister. It is a concern that, whilst eliminating some posts that have encouraged political corruption, it may instead contain political corruption to the current ruling office.