Iraqi PM al-Abadi Urges Judicial Reforms Demanded by Ayatollah Sistani

Iraqi PM al-Abadi Urges Judicial Reforms Demanded by Ayatollah Sistani
Sat Aug 15, 2015 16:57:27

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has called on the judiciary to carry out "drastic measures" in its battle against corruption, after the country's top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged judicial reforms, Press TV reports.

In a Friday statement, Abadi called on "the judicial authority to undertake a series of drastic measures to guarantee judicial prestige and independence and allow it to fight corruption."

Abadi said the measures are needed to secure the judiciary’s impartiality and fairness in implementing his proposed reforms aimed at uprooting corruption and reducing government costs.

"The wide reforms I called for require a just and impartial and firm judiciary to support these reforms," he noted.

The premier’s statement came in response to a call by Ayatollah Sistani, who had demanded changes in the judiciary.

"We would like to point out that one of the most important requirements of the reform process... is reforming the judiciary, as it is an important pillar in completing the package of reforms," said Ayatollah Sistani, in remarks delivered by his representative Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai during Friday prayers in the holy city of Najaf.

Ayatollah Sistani further welcomed political reforms announced by Abadi and expressed hope for their full implementation in the near future.

The prime minister's reforms, which were approved by the Iraqi parliament on Tuesday, also aim to improve the administration's performance in the face of a wave of dissatisfaction with government services.

Abadi’s proposals are based on a plea by Ayatollah Sistani, who urged the premier on August 7 to resolve internal issues in the government. Ayatollah Sistani’s statement was made after thousands took to the streets in various Iraqi cities demanding that the government tackle corruption and improve the quality of water and electricity services.

On Wednesday, Abadi warned that the process of carrying out reforms "will not be easy; it will be painful," and that corrupt individuals would struggle to prevent change.

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