New PM-designate Kadhimi has momentum, but steep challenge

With 30 days to form a cabinet, Iraq's latest prime minister-designate, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, faces the same political crosscurrents that stymied his predecessors.
Iraqi President Barham Salih (center right) and Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi (center left) lead a ceremony to name Mustafa al-Kadhimi (right) as Iraq's next prime minister-deisgnate on April 9, 2020. (Photo credit: Iraq's presidency office)

BAGHDAD/ERBIL - Iraq's new prime minister-designate, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, faces an uphill battle to seat a government after two previous candidates failed to secure enough support from political rivals.

Kadhimi, who has led the Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS) since 2016, was officially nominated by Iraqi President Barham Salih in a Thursday ceremony at the presidential palace in Baghdad. His nomination marked the end of Adnan al-Zurfi’s attempts to form a cabinet.

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