Iraqi PM: Tensions in Parliament Hinders His Efforts to Implement Reform Plans

Iraqi PM: Tensions in Parliament Hinders His Efforts to Implement Reform Plans
Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:55:20

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has warned that Parliament tensions and divisions have delayed a vote on his cabinet reshufflement and has called on lawmakers to exercise self-restraint.

Abadi warned on Thursday that divisions in the parliament would hinder his efforts to implement reform plans.

The Iraqi parliament has witnessed a tumultuous week amid a political rift which has thrice prevented a vote on the list of new ministers.

On Thursday, the parliament cancelled a vote on the cabinet overhaul and voted to unseat speaker Salim al-Jabouri and his deputies. Lawmakers also appointed Adnan al-Janabi, a senior tribal leader, as the acting head of the parliament.

Jabouri dismissed the session as unconstitutional because he and the premier were not present and the vote had failed to reach the required quorum.

Prime Minister Abadi said the row at the parliament is against the spirit of reforms, which undermines Iraq’s unity in the face of its security challenges.

He called on all political parties to remain calm and pave the way for dialog to help the government move forward with the planned reforms.

The reforms, he said, are only part of a wider reform plan aimed eliminating corruption at state institutions and addressing the country’s economic woes.

The parliament voted on March 28 to give Abadi a three-day deadline to present his new government or face a vote of no-confidence.

The premier met the deadline and presented a list of nominees. But he has faced stiff resistance from some parties seeking to maintain their influence in the administration.

Most of those on Abadi’s list were later substituted with new names on a second list distributed among lawmakers on Tuesday, triggering a storm and prompting some MPs to launch at a sit-in at the floor.

On Wednesday, a fistfight erupted in the parliament hall, forcing the prime minister to say he would make changes to the disputed names on the new list; Press TV reported.


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