From the Document: "In May 2020, Iraq's parliament confirmed Iraqi National Intelligence Service director Mustafa al Kadhimi as Prime Minister, and in June finished confirmation of his cabinet members, bringing months of political deadlock over government leadership to a close. Upon taking office, Al Kadhimi declared that his government would serve in a transitional capacity and would work to improve security and fight corruption while preparing for early elections. Iraqi authorities have instituted curfews and travel restrictions in response to the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which threatens public health, the economy, and public finances. Prime Minister Al Kadhimi's priorities include:  mobilizing resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic;  'restricting weapons to state and military institutions';  addressing what he calls 'the worst economic situation since the formation of the Iraqi state'; and  'protecting the sovereignty and security of Iraq, continuing to fight terrorism, and providing a national vision on the future of foreign forces in Iraq.' Al Kadhimi has called for early elections in June 2021 under a revamped electoral system, but fiscal pressures, political rivalries, and limited institutional capacity present serious hurdles to reform. A series of high profile assassinations in 2020 of protest leaders and of a prominent security researcher have intensified public scrutiny of Al Kadhimi's credibility and his government's ability to act against armed groups operating outside state authority."
CRS In Focus, IF10404
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/