Al-Sudani in 2023: A service-oriented journey filled with obstacles

Al-Sudani in 2023: A service-oriented journey filled with obstacles

Shafaq News / Evaluating any government's performance after just one year is challenging. However, Iraq in 2023 has seen tangible achievements, particularly in providing long-lacked basic services since 2003. Despite hurdles on economic and security fronts, the administration led by Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani managed noteworthy progress.

The birth of Al-Sudani's government in October 2022, following a challenging coalition-building process, as stated by political analyst Sabah Al-Akeeli, "is marked by political and popular support. It sets itself apart from past governments by prioritizing services as its primary governmental agenda." Al-Sudani's leadership is characterized as a "Service-Oriented Government," emphasizing a national project to deliver various types of services across the country.

Al-Sudani’s achievements

Sabah Al-Akeeli, in an interview with Shafaq News Agency, highlighted the challenges faced by Al-Sudani's administration due to past burdens. He mentioned the government's efforts to allocate necessary funds to complete stalled projects, some of which were at 70% completion or more, and a significant number were successfully completed.

Regarding investment, Al-Akeeli explained that two major projects, the Grand Faw Project overseen directly by Al-Sudani and the establishment of the Large Development Road, stood out as promising initiatives that would positively impact the Iraqi economy. These projects are counted among the achievements of Al-Sudani.

Al-Akeeli continued, "Arguably, Al-Sudani's government exhibits superior performance compared to previous governments within the timeframe it has operated. This is evident through numerous projects aimed at alleviating congestion in Baghdad, including 16 projects—a feat unprecedented since 2003."

He further added, "In terms of oversight, Al-Sudani has surpassed the efforts of previous governments in combating corruption. He has actively pursued and termed corruption as a 'pandemic', leading to the referral of many corruption cases to the judiciary."

Regarding administrative reform, Al-Akeeli clarified, "Al-Sudani established committees to evaluate the performance of general directors. There have been significant changes in the administrative system, positively impacting the performance of governmental institutions."

Moreover, Al-Sudani stands out from previous governments by presenting a draft of the federal budget for three years. Past governments faced significant challenges in delaying budget approval, which affected the implementation of governmental programs. This accomplishment is noteworthy.

Al-Akeeli also highlighted another achievement of Al-Sudani's government, stating, "The successful organization of local council elections, marked by the exceptional performance of the Electoral Commission and the provision of security during the electoral process, was a promise fulfilled by Al-Sudani."

He emphasized that the government has pledged 2024 as a year of reconstruction and development, granting some authority to governorates in implementing Article 21 of the Provincial Councils Law.


Since assuming power, Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani's government encountered a myriad of challenges, particularly in the economic, security, and anti-corruption domains. However, the rise in oil prices somewhat alleviated these challenges, enabling Al-Sudani to address numerous issues. This was mainly due to his focus on a highly service-oriented approach, as highlighted by political science professor Issam Al-Faily from Al-Mustansiriya University.

Al-Faily noted that "the service-oriented approach adopted by Al-Sudani allowed him to address many issues. As commonly understood, the service dimension is the primary driver for stabilizing any government." He added, "Al-Sudani succeeded in the employment sector by creating numerous jobs, although some might find it a strain on the budget practically. However, Al-Sudani believed that allocating these funds to citizens was more crucial than letting corrupt individuals embezzle them."

Moreover, Al-Faily mentioned that "Al-Sudani's government succeeded in addressing many issues between the central government and the Kurdistan Region (KRI). Despite pressures from factions opposing federalism and the rights of regional employees, Al-Sudani managed to pay salaries. Some factions even criticized Al-Sudani at the last moment, accusing him of unilaterally deciding to pay the salaries of regional employees. However, Al-Sudani refrained from escalating tensions with political forces in this regard."

Al-Faily continued, saying, "Al-Sudani also succeeded in enhancing relationships with several Arab and regional countries that previously considered Iraq a crucial regional power."

He highlighted that "Al-Sudani's presence and his handling of some issues led to the emergence of various obstacles. Some parties believed that Al-Sudani's actions did not align with the political agreement. He was particularly sharp on the issue of bearing arms, with some parties accusing those who targeted Erbil Airport, Ain al-Assad base, and governmental areas of acting outside the law."

Al-Faily concluded, stating that "there were indeed numerous problems this year, but evaluating the performance of any government within just one year is challenging. Overall, Al-Sudani succeeded in creating relative tranquility and stability. However, this success would not have been possible without some form of collaboration between the factions forming the government. Meanwhile, there are still factions that adhere to a state-severing process."

Unfinished projects

Abbas Al-Jubouri, Director of the Al-Rafid Media and Strategic Studies Center, observed, "The accomplishments attained during this period, despite being few, were significant. This is particularly noteworthy considering the considerable backlog of stalled projects, numbering over 50,000 diverse projects spanning roads, bridges, residential buildings, agriculture, and industry. The exceptional effort was focused on services directly impacting people's lives."

On an international level, Al-Jubouri clarified, "Al-Sudani’s government succeeded internationally through its amicable relations with Gulf, Arab, and foreign countries and managed to host the Gulf 25 tournament in Basra."

Regarding the economy, Al-Jubouri stated, "Achievements included reducing the dollar to 1320 (the official rate), increasing retirees' salaries, expanding the social security network, and permanently securing Law 315 holders' positions. However, there were prior accumulations that negatively impacted the economic situation, so what was achieved was essentially from ground zero."

Supporting minorities

Al-Sudani’s government has issued numerous resolutions and directives aimed at supporting minorities. Among these decisions is a Cabinet decision regarding the preservation of employees from the same component and appointing individuals from this same component to vacant positions within the staff movements across all state institutions, according to Khalef Sinjar, the Prime Minister's advisor on Yazidi affairs.

Sinjar further stated, "There was also a decision to grant ownership of lands and houses to the Yazidis in Sinjar after almost 50 years of deprivation. Additionally, several symbolic decisions were made on occasions such as the festivals of the Yazidis, Christians, and Mandaeans." He affirmed that "the government is working in line with its governmental agenda to implement the Sinjar Agreement, facilitate the return of displaced individuals, and compensate those affected by terrorist activities."

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