Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Iraq: ISIS Down, Corruption to Go

Iraq: ISIS Down, Corruption to Go

Saturday, 11 November, 2017 - 08:00
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the city of Al-Qaim (AFP)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has prioritized counter-corruption efforts in the post-ISIS era.

There is serious concern about Abadi's ability to win his new battle-- especially that corruption is a challenging phenomenon with mafias and political, judicial and militia figures working on the premise compromising national authority for personal or regional interests.

Head of a political think tank Dr. Ihsan al-Shammari believes that although "putting an end to corruption today seems impossible, as was the case of the victory over ISIS (3 years ago), Abadi still won against the terror group.”

“And he will win his war against corruption.”

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Shammari said that Abadi is very serious in putting an end to corruption.

Former Iraqi Integrity Committee Chairman Judge Rahim Al Ukaili stressed in statements to Asharq Al-Awsat that Abadi should begin to "strike the heads of corruption as they –and with no doubt- continue to loot astronomical sums of money from the national treasury."

Political pressure related to former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki forced Ukaili to submit his resignation.

Shammari added that "the anti-corruption plan is not a new move for Abadi. His government's program focused on fighting it from the early days of its formation."

"In early 2016, the Supreme Anti-Corruption Council was established under his (Abadi) chairmanship in coordination with the head of the Integrity Commission and the Financial Control Bureau.”

“He also restructured the offices of the inspectors, who were inactive in previous years,” said Shammari.

On the practical asteps followed by Abadi, Shammari pointed out that early-on the PM “sought to fix the leakage through which corruption seeps through establishing an electronic system covering all state institutions.”

“The system is aimed at inhibiting corruption. The e-government will be launched soon aimed at breaking the road to corruption,” added Shammari.

Shammari admits that the actions taken by the prime minister “may not show rapid results, but are effective and will achieve desired results in the near or medium term.”

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