Flag of Iraq
  1. Iraq Main Page
  2. Iraq Gains Independence
  3. Rise of the Baath Party
  4. Saddam Hussein's Ascendancy Brings Series of Wars
  5. After 9/11, the U.S. Launches War in Iraq
  6. No Evidence of Weapons in Iraq
  7. Insurgency Gathers Steam
  8. Iraqi Leadership Struggles in Effort to Form a Government
  9. U.S. Strategy Under Fire
  10. Bush Orders a Surge of U.S. Troops to Iraq
  11. Iraqi Parliament Gets Down to Business
  12. Political Veterans Fare Well in 2010 Parliamentary Elections
  13. War in Iraq Is Officially Over but Political Unrest and Violence Continue as ISIS Emerges
  14. 2014 Parliamentary Elections Unexpectedly Peaceful Despite Rise of ISIS
  15. New Prime Minister Forms a Power-Sharing Government
  16. Mixed Bag in the Fight Against ISIS
  17. Blackwater Guards Convicted
  18. Prime Minister Calls for Overhaul of Government
New Prime Minister Forms a Power-Sharing Government

In August President Fouad Massoum nominated Haider al-Abadi, the first deputy speaker of Parliament, as prime minister. Abadi, a Shiite, is a member of the Dawa Party, which is headed by Prime Minister Maliki. Maliki refused to cede power, saying he will challenge the nomination in court and threatening to use force if necessary. Indeed, officials in Iraq and the U.S. feared a military coup. The U.S. has been pushing for Maliki to step down. Maliki's defiance further destabilized a country already fighting stubborn militants intent on creating an Islamic state and facing a humanitarian crisis brought on by ISIS's brutality against religious minorities. On Aug. 14, Maliki agreed to step aside, paving the way for Abadi to become prime minister in a peaceful transition.

Parliament approved a power-sharing government headed by Abadi in September 2014. Kurds and Sunnis were given posts in the new government. However, the defense and interior ministries, among the most powerful and important positions, were left vacant. Parliament, including some fellow Shiites, rejected several of his nominees, signalling that Abadi has a tough rode ahead of him politically. Maliki, former prime minister Ayad Allawi, and Osama al-Nujaifi, the former speaker of Parliament were named vice presidents. Abadi faces the task of earning the trust of Sunnis and Kurds, who felt under attack and disenfranchised during Maliki's rule.

Abadi won praise in his first weeks as prime minister for reaching out to Sunnis and Kurds. In early December 2014, he reached a deal with the Kurds to share oil revenue, fund the pesh merga troops, and send arms to the Kurds. The deal will likely discourage the Kurds from seeking independence and unify the country as it battles the Islamic State.

Next: Mixed Bag in the Fight Against ISIS
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