Iraq top Shia cleric calls for ‘quick action’ to uproot corruption
Iraq’s senior Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has highlighted the need for fighting corruption in the country, calling on the Baghdad government to start hunting the “big heads” and take “quick action” concerning the implementation of much needed reforms.
“One of the essential steps for reform is to hunt the big heads among the corrupt and hold them accountable, to retrieve all the stolen money,” Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said in a sermon delivered by his representative Ayatollah Ahmad al-Safi in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala on Friday.
He added people “have long suffered from corruption” and they want “this mission to be implemented without procrastination and delay.”
“Quick action and real, convincing and assuring steps are needed to show that the officials are serious in implementing reforms,” the prominent Iraqi clergyman pointed out.
On August 21, Ayatollah Sistani said the reform campaign must continue, and the government must quickly prosecute the “big thieves of public funds.”
On August 11, the Iraqi parliament unanimously approved Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s proposals aimed at uprooting corruption and reducing government costs.
As part of the comprehensive reform plan, the two key positions of vice president and deputy prime minister will be removed. The plan also calls for a “comprehensive and immediate reduction” in the number of bodyguards of the president, ministers, parliament speaker, members of parliament and prime minister.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s anti-corruption court says it is investigating over 90 lawsuits, some of which against former and current members of the parliament. The court says it cannot summon the lawmakers because of their parliamentary immunity.