Iraqi parliament approves pm Abadi's reform package

Aug 13, 2015 Iraq’s parliament has unanimously approved a reform package announced by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s

The prime minister’s proposed reform package, which is aimed at reducing corruption and excessive government expenditure, will include eliminating a layer of senior government positions, ending sectarian and party quotas for state positions, reducing officials’ benefits and reopening corruption investigations.

These measures are courtesy widespread anti-government protests and a call from Muslim clerics for stricter measures against corruption.

Parliament speaker, Saleem al-Jabouri, outlined the reform package to the floor of the parliament calling afterwards for a vote.

I will read out the reform package presented by Prime Minister Dr Haider al-Abadi at the extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers on August 9, 2015 and which was unanimously approved by the Council of Ministers. I will read out the package and after that I will ask members of the parliament to vote on the package”

“Immediate scrapping of Iraq’s multiple vice president and deputy prime minister positions. Electing heads of independent committees, under-secretaries, advisers and director- generals away from political and sectarian quotas,”

“Comprehensive and immediate reduction in the number of guards for all government officials including those of the president, the prime minister and the head of the parliaments and ministers, parliament members and directors general, governors, members of the councils of the cities and referring the surplus to the defence and the interior ministries.”

“I demand voting on the whole package by raising of hands.”

Parliament also approved its own reform package which seeks to relieve the ministers of finance and electricity of their duties, cut down the number of ministries, reduce the size of officials’ security details and reform the judicial system.

Prime Minister Abadi, who had struggled to garner political support for meaningful reform, received a boost from senior Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani when the octogenarian, urged him to strike corruption with an iron fist.

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