Baghdad’s new cabinet is well aware that abysmal electricity services could prove its downfall. But with large-scale gains still 2-4 years away, the electricity ministry is scrambling to put politics aside and deliver a 15% improvement in powergen by this summer.

When Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi nominated career technocrats Thamir Ghadhban and Luay al-Khatteeb for the crucial oil and electricity portfolios last year (MEES, 26 October 2018), he set out a clear political vision...