Ali Allawi, whom Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi nominated last week to serve as finance minister in a new technocratic government, withdrew his candidacy on Wednesday, citing “political interventions and partisan bickering”. Allawi is at least the second ministerial candidate to pull out. The nominee for oil minister withdrew on Friday, apparently because he
had not been formally put forward by the main Kurdish groups. Abadi presented parliament on Thursday with a list of 14 names, many of them academics, to free the ministries from the grip of a political class that has used the system of ethnic and sectarian quotas instituted after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to amass wealth and influence through corruption.