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Adel Abdel-Mahdi, a former finance minister, oil minister and vice president of Iraq, barely managed to secure a confidence vote of two-thirds of his Cabinet on Oct. 25 .The roots of Abdel-Mahdi's weak government lie in the manner in which the prime minister himself was elected. After he resigned as oil minister in 2016, Abdel-Mahdi left ISCI to become an independent and did not run in the May 2018 parliamentary elections. Abdel-Mahdi conducted separate bilateral negotiations for ministerial positions with Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law Coalition and the Sunni Arab National Axis Alliance, even though they were technically both part of Amiri's Construction Bloc (Bina).The problem is, having negotiated the ministerial appointments bilaterally with each bloc right up until that afternoon, Abdel-Mahdi had not provided blocs with the names of his nominees until about five hours before the meeting.Parliament took what was supposed to be a 30-minute break that went on for much longer, and near midnight it appeared Abdel-Mahdi would fail. Bloc leaders then emerged with a compromise to pass just 14 of the 21 ministers originally submitted. However, among the important positions left unfilled were the interior minister, the defense minister and the justice minister.
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