عدد المساهمات : 38369
تاريخ التسجيل : 21/09/2009
|موضوع: Iraq MPs vote to sack finance minister after graft allegations السبت 24 سبتمبر 2016, 23:41|| |
Sep. 21, 2016
| || |
Iraq MPs vote to sack finance minister after graft allegations
158 MPs vote to remove Hoshyar Zebari, who became finance minister in 2014, over corruption allegations.
Zebari denied the corruption allegations
- اقتباس :
- BAGHDAD - Iraq's parliament voted on Wednesday to remove the country's finance minister, who was questioned over corruption allegations last month, lawmakers said.
The removal of Hoshyar Zebari, who has served in every government since 2003, comes as Iraq faces a major budget shortfall that it is to help address with funding from the International Monetary Fund.
Of 249 parliament members in attendance, 158 voted to sack Zebari, who became finance minister in 2014 after a long career at the helm of the country's foreign ministry, two MPs told AFP.
"The finance minister was removed during a secret voting session," MP Ammar Toma said.
Abdulrahim al-Shammari, another MP, confirmed that parliament had voted to remove Zebari, the most senior Kurdish minister in the federal government.
With Zebari goes a long-standing link between Baghdad and the country's autonomous Kurdish region, the leader of which has called for a referendum on independence, and his removal could signal a further disengagement between the two sides.
Zebari, who denied the corruption allegations against him, is the second minister to be sacked by parliament in less than a month.
Lawmakers voted on August 25 to remove defence minister Khalid al-Obeidi, who had also been questioned over alleged corruption.
Interior minister Mohammed al-Ghabban resigned following a bombing in central Baghdad that killed more than 300 people in July, and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office announced that he had also accepted the resignations of six other ministers.
Abadi called in February for the cabinet to include technocrats, but has faced major opposition from powerful political parties that rely on control of ministries for patronage and funds.
Parliament approved five new ministers in August after months of delay, but the powerful defence and interior posts remain unfilled.
The removal of the finance minister comes with Iraq in economic crisis caused by low oil prices that have followed years of mismanagement and corruption when prices were high and money plentiful.
Iraq has negotiated a stand-by agreement with the IMF under which will provide the country with more than $5 billion over three years, but the shortfall in the Iraqi budget is much larger than that figure.
Middle East Online[/size]