In Iraq, UN welcomes new President, and Prime Minister-designate, calls for ‘truly representative’ cabinet

3 October 2018

The United Nations Special Representative for Iraq, Ján Kubiš, on Wednesday, welcomed the designation of a new Prime Minister, Adel Abdel-Mahdi, and urged political leaders to promote women’s meaningful representation in politics.

“As the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the United Nations family in Iraq congratulate Mr. Abdel-Mahdi on his appointment, we recognise the enormous challenges he faces,” said Mr. Kubiš, adding that “we stand side by side with him, as he leads the country in its steady march towards a future of stability, economic growth and prosperity.”

In a statement issued later, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, also congratulated Iraq's new President, Barham Salih, after his swearing-in on Tuesday, saying that he was looking forward to "working closely" with him, "on all issues of mutual concern, in accordance with the mandate of the United Nations in Iraq."

Since the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein was toppled following the 2003 invasion, the country’s three largest ethnic-sectarian groups have shared the country’s highest positions, with the Prime Minister position held by a Shia politician, the Speaker of Parliament post by a Sunni, and the Presidency by a Kurd.

Ending months of deadlock following inconclusive national elections in May, the new Prime Minister – a former Vice- President, Oil Minister and Finance Minister – has one month to form a cabinet that will be presented to parliament for approval.

In this regard, Mr. Kubiš urged political leaders to live up to their pledges on women’s meaningful representation in politics.

“Iraq needs a stable, national government that brings Iraqis together and restores hope in their country as they move forward in the post-Da’esh period,” said Mr. Kubiš. “This government should be formed well within the constitutional timeline, should be professional, competent, truly representative and inclusive of women in cabinet posts”.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

After democratic elections, Iraqi leaders must form ‘truly national’ government, urges UN envoy

The low voter turnout for Iraq’s recent national elections was a “strong signal” to the country’s ruling political elites that they must work harder to ease sectarian divides and promote democratic accountability over nepotism and patronage, the United Nations envoy to the country said on Wednesday.

Iraqis vote in first election since ISIL defeat; UN chief hails polls as progress on path to stronger democracy

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has congratulated the people of Iraq on the holding yesterday of the first national parliamentary elections since the country declared victory over Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Dae'sh) terrorists late last year.