Iraq’s parliament speaker pushes Abadi for more reforms
Iraq’s parliament speaker has urged Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to expand his reform plans in the government system, saying the premier should sack corrupt and negligent ministers.
“We asked the prime minister to dismiss a number of ministers who are clearly guilty of dereliction, negligence and corruption,” said Parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi on Monday, a day before he and other lawmakers were set to vote on Abadi’s wide-ranging reform proposals.
Juburi, however, did not name any specific ministers in his televised statement.
According to a parliamentary official, those responsible for electricity and water resources were both proposed for dismissal in a meeting between the speaker and political leaders on Monday. Juburi also called for the removal of lawmakers who are absent for more than a third of the time.
Abadi’s measure is based on a plea by Iraq’s most senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who urged the premier on August 7 to resolve internal issues in the government. Ayatollah Sistani’s statement was made after thousands took to the streets in various Iraqi cities demanding the government to tackle corruption and improve the quality of water and electricity services.
The demonstrations came after Iraqis suffered long hours of power outage amid a major heatwave that saw temperatures top 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit).