The Iraqi Parliament appointed Mustafa al-Kadhimi as the country's prime minister in the early morning hours (local time) on Thursday, May 7, following a six-month period in which two interim governments failed to form a government. Prime Minister al-Kadhimi, Iraq's intelligence chief and a former journalist, will begin governing with a partial cabinet after several of his ministerial candidates were rejected. The prime minister announced that his agenda priorities include managing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country and holding accountable those who killed anti-government protesters months prior. He also pledged to hold early elections and draft an emergency budget law.
As al-Kadhimi has been identified as a pro-US candidate, protests led by the anti-government movement and supporters of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are possible despite ongoing COVID-19-related restrictions on movement. Violence is often reported at protests involving the two groups. A heightened security presence is to be expected in the vicinity of any protest.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings due to potential violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business in areas affected by anti-government demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.
Copyright and Disclaimer