No. 751

Can the New Prime Minister of Iraq Solve the Country’s Enduring Problems?

  • 7 July 2020

Iraq is a rich country plagued by bad governance, political and sectarian divisions, and foreign interference. Mustafa Al-Kadhimi – journalist, activist, intelligence chief and now Iraq’s Prime Minister – is a new kind of political leader who must face all of Iraq’s old challenges.
Disenfranchised Iraqis are demanding the government provides services and jobs. A stressed health system struggles to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Sectarian militias continue to operate beyond the control of the state. The latest OPEC+ agreement cut Iraq’s production quota, as oil prices plummeted. ISIS is re-forming and attacking security forces. And, through all of this, street protests that at times turn violent call for a complete overhaul of the system and the removal of the old political class.
How should the new prime minister navigate these troubled political waters? Can the Gulf Arab states help Iraq become a source of stability in the region?

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