Moqtada al-Sadr says top security posts should be appointed strictly by Iraqi PM

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The appointment of Iraq’s minister of defense, minister of interior and all sensitive security positions should be strictly in the hands of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, Iraqi populist Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said on Sunday.

Sadr added that no bloc has the right to submit its candidates for these posts, and that they should not be gifted to political parties or subject to quotas, stating that they must be assigned to competent independent candidates.


Sadr also stressed on the need to appoint other posts and government bodies according to professional standards, away from quotas and biases, calling on the prime minister to open nominations for all qualified candidates.

Sadr’s move to provide Abdul Mahdi full authority to choose Iraq’s ministers might be a disadvantage to political blocs who want to get their share in these appointments.

Abdul Mahdi was nominated by two rival blocs, one led by Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, and the other by Iran-backed militia leader Hadi al-Amiri and former premier Nuri al-Maliki.

Iraq's parliament on Tuesday elected as president Kurdish politician Barham Salih, who immediately named Shiite Adel Abdul Mahdi prime minister-designate, ending months of deadlock after an inconclusive national election in May.

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