Iraqi prime minister fires senior cabinet official
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has fired a senior cabinet official who was a close aide to his predecessor Nouri al-Maliki.
Abadi issued an order relieving the secretary general of the cabinet, Mohammed Khalaf Ahmed, and his two deputies from their positions, read a statement released by the premier’s office on Wednesday.
Khalaf served as the head of Maliki’s personal office during his term as prime minster.
The reason for the decision was not referred to in the statement but the dismissal comes as Abadi initiated major reforms aimed at resolving internal issues in the government.
Abadi’s measures are 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 the issues.
The premier must be more “daring and courageous” in his efforts to reform the government, Ayatollah Sistani said, calling on Abadi to strike “with an iron fist anyone who is tampering with the people’s money.”
Ayatollah Sistani’s statement was made after thousands took to the streets in various Iraqi cities demanding the government tackle corruption and improve the quality of water and electricity services.