The new Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, launched on Sunday his battle against corruption by warning his brother from the consequences of mediating or acting on his behalf.
The premiership’s information service broadcast a video of Kadhimi during a visit to the Public Pensions Department speaking on the phone with his eldest brother, warning him from mediating on his behalf.
The PM said if such behavior happens, it would be equivalent to identity theft that is punishable by law.
Kadhimi’s presence at the Department also secured the release of salaries of around three million Iraqi pensioners.
The PM’s keenness to fight corruption was preceded by other similar moves, when he ordered the release of demonstrators arrested during the mass protests that erupted in October last year.
The Prime Minister also ordered to reinstate a top general dismissed by former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi in September.
“We ordered the return of the hero brother, First Lieutenant General Abdel-Wahab Al-Saadi, and to promote him as the head of the Anti-Terrorism Agency,” he said.
As Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Kadhimi said all security services have been ordered to respect human rights.
Amid unprecedented differences between groups supporting the October demonstrations, protests were held in Baghdad and other cities in central and southern Iraq against the new government, shortly after Kadhimi announced the formation of a supreme legal committee to investigate the events that took place starting October 1, 2019.
Sunday’s protests raised questions regarding their timing.
Several sources warned from the “agendas” of some political parties and forces that seek to harm the PM’s term by renewing protests.
A former candidate for the Iraqi premiership, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Kadhimi proved to have self-confidence, mainly when he ordered the return of Saadi.
“This is considered one of the most important decisions taken by the PM so far,” he said.
MP of Iraqi Forces Alliance Abdullah al-Kharbit told Asharq Al-Awsat that most difficulties that Kadhimi would face in the future are “internal.”
“He has a very difficult mission due to accumulated problems,” Kharbit said.