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Amid Protests, Authorities Issue Warrants to Arrest, Summon 60 Officials in Iraq

Amid Protests, Authorities Issue Warrants to Arrest, Summon 60 Officials in Iraq

Saturday, 2 November, 2019 - 09:00
An Iraqi female demonstrator waves an Iraqi flag during an ongoing anti-government protest, in Baghdad, Iraq November 1, 2019. (Reuters)

The Commission of Integrity, an entity connected with the Iraqi judiciary, said that warrants were issued to arrest and summon 60 Iraqi officials on corruption chargers.

A statement by the commission said that the warrants targeted ministers and ex-ministers, several members of parliament, in addition to governors and local officials.

According to the statement, a minister and five lawmakers and two ex-ministers have been summoned.

This is the second wave of warrants announcement since October when 38 officials faced allegations of fraud.

“One of the main reasons for all this widespread corruption in the country is sectarian and ethnic quotas, which made the blocs hire officials to the most important state posts on the basis of loyalty, not efficiency,” the commission’s former chief Moussa Faraj told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The Supreme Federal Court had given protests further legitimacy in their demand for abolishing quotas in senior positions, which is the cornerstone of corruption, in a decision it took over a week ago.

The court ruled that Paragraph 6 of Parliament Resolution 44 of 2008, which was adopted on December 24, 2008, is unconstitutional. The resolution gave legal cover for sectarian- and partisan-based appointments.

Faraj hailed the move, saying it would end corrupt hiring. He added that it also means that appointments that were made according to the resolution are now null and void.

Iraq is currently swept by a wave of protests against corruption.

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