Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee

Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center where he is working on a book titled "Shiism and State in Iraq: Authority, Identity and Politics."



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From Maliki to Abadi: The Challenge of Being Iraq’s Prime Minister

Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee
Middle East Brief 100, June 2016


The Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi’s rise to power in 2014, in the aftermath of Nouri al-Maliki’s controversial rule, was lauded by the United States, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Moqtada al-Sadr, and most Kurdish and Sunni parties alike. Yet, recent protests in Iraq raise questions about Abadi’s ability to implement reforms and remain in power in the face of growing discontent. In this Brief, Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee reviews Abadi’s premiership thus far, examines the differences between Abadi’s and Maliki’s policies, and questions whether the transference of power from Maliki to Abadi has led to a significant change in Iraq’s political dynamics. The Brief argues that, despite improvements in the style of governance, Abadi failed to meaningfully impact major political issues, especially those pertaining to the central authorities’ relations with the Kurds and the Sunnis, and the conduct of the war against ISIS. The Brief concludes by illustrating that the nature of Iraq’s political system and Abadi’s inability to consolidate a support base have made his term ineffectual and may, ultimately, be the cause of his downfall.

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