Iraqi parliament unanimously approves PM’s reform package

Iraqi parliament voted to unanimously approve Prime Minister Haider al Abadi's reform package to end corruption and save money

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Members of the new Iraqi parliament attend a session at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad

Speaker Saleem al-Jabouri said that Iraq's parliament voted to unanimously approve Prime Minister Haider al Abadi's reform package on Tuesday during a live broadcast of the parliament session which aired on state television.

Iraq's parliament speaker called on Monday for al Abadi to sack ministers found to be negligent or corrupt as part of a wide-ranging reform drive.

On Sunday, Iraq's PM Abadi issued a decree proposing the cancellation of the country's vice president positions and deputy PM role in a series of measures aimed at reducing corruption, ending sectarian and party quotas for government positions and reopening corruption investigations.

Those measurements came after weeks of protests and a call from Iraq's top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al Sistani for drastic change in the country.

"It was unanimously approved," parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi announced after the vote. Voting for the plan was held - without a debate - as soon it was read.

Juburi said that 297 attended the session of 328 members of parliament. 

Juburi called earlier on MPs to approve Abadi's measures affirming the need for more reforms without naming specific ministers. The reforms are expected to be discussed by the parliament on Tuesday.

"We asked the prime minister to dismiss a number of ministers who are clearly guilty of dereliction, negligence and corruption," Juburi said in televised remarks.

Those responsible for electricity and water resources were both proposed for the chopping block in a meeting on Monday between the speaker and political leaders, a parliamentary official said.

MPs who are absent more than a third of the time should be removed according to Juburi.

Absent MPs are an outstanding problem for the Iraqi legislature, which even failed to reach a quorum for an emergency session called in response to a sweeping offensive by ISIS in June 2014.

The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Bahaa al Araji, delivered his official resignation to Abadi.

TRTWorld and agencies