Analysis: Cabinet oil law asserts executive power

A review of the Cabinet's proposed oil law shows the Maliki administration is angling to keep control centralized in the Oil Ministry.
Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, Hussain al-Shahristani (R), holds a joint news conference with Italy's Industry Minister Paolo Romani in Baghdad October 5, 2011. (MOHAMMED AMEEN/Reuters)

As Nouri al-Maliki's administration pursues new legislation to structure the oil sector, one theme has become clear: the prime minister wants the Cabinet to have control.

Shortly after the Parliament energy committee submitted a draft oil and gas law for consideration, the Cabinet issued a strong rebuke and asserted its lead role in the legislative process. Then the Cabinet passed a draft of its own, which would concentrate authority over the oil sector in the executive branch, according to a review of the proposed law.

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