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Limited Counter-corruption Measures Taken in Iraq

Limited Counter-corruption Measures Taken in Iraq

Thursday, 17 October, 2019 - 07:30
Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi speaks to parliament he announces his new cabinet at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq October 24, 2018. Iraqi Parliament Office/Handout via REUTERS

Iraq announced a body of measures to combat corruption which political observers said was limited and meant to quell public contempt as demonstrators prepare for a new protest slated for October 25.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, on Wednesday, vowed to meet the demands of protestors. When receiving David Schenker, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Abdul-Mahdi said: “The Iraqi government is continuing to meet the demands of the demonstrators and make reforms.”

On that note, the Iraqi government sacked 61 top officials from ministries and different public institutions. This comes in preparation to have the positions filled by a ministerial or a parliamentary vote.

Asharq Al-Awsat learned from a government source that the measure is “not new.”

“The prime minister seeks to mix the cards to appear as a reformist in the light of popular protests-- according to government programs, he was supposed to resolve the issue of special grades only six months after taking office,” the source, speaking under the condition of anonymity, added.

Another source at the judiciary said that Abdul-Mahdi intends to “establish a special and independent criminal court, similar to the court which tried Saddam and former regime henchmen.”

This court will be chiefly tasked with trying the corrupt.

“The Prime Minister believes that there is no solution to the fight against corruption except through a specialized court that does not belong to any party,” the source added.

Protests rocked the capital Baghdad and southern provinces earlier this month against high unemployment and government corruption. Discontent has been growing in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment and rampant corruption.

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