Thursday (May 7th): A new Prime Minister for Iraq

Mustafa al-Kadhimi

Name? Mustafa al-Kadhimi

Westphalian identity? Iraqi

Age? 53

Why is he in the news? Early this morning, al-Kadhimi (a former intelligence chief) was approved by the Iraqi parliament as the country’s new Prime Minister, creating a new government after nearly 6 months of political wrangling.

Why do we care? It’s real, non-corona news? Yeah, the bar has been set pretty low but that doesn’t make this any less important. As former intelligence chief, cofounder of the Iraqi Media Network, president and parliament approved, al-Kadhimi is bound to be an interesting and pragmatic leader for Iraq during normal, protest-ridden times, not to mention during the current corona crisis.

Why should you care? In a region often known for its instability, constant conflict and continuous political do-overs (we’re looking at you Israel), you should be eager to see any possibility for greater regional stability. We aren’t promising al-Kadhimi will bring that, but that the simple fact of Iraq actually having a government should help.

Who else cares? Externally, Iran and the United States as both sides are speculated to approve of the newest Prime Minister. Internally, all those protesters the media left behind to focus on corona, just because the media attention went away doesn’t mean the underlying issues did. Many of which believe al-Kadhimi to be more open to the anti-government protesters as his political engagement has been much more secular than his predecessors.

Any further comments? al-Kadhimi lived in Germany, also holds UK citizenship and was accused of being an American spy…so basically he’s good with three major Western governments. That’s a solid start as Prime Minister if you ask us.

Sarah McFadden

General Coordinator