PM Abadi fires electricity minister over poor power services

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

Baghdad ( – Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued on Sunday a decision to sack Electricity Minister Qassim al-Fahdawi over poor power services, which prompted protesters to stage mass demonstrations across Iraq’s southern and central provinces three weeks ago.

In an online statement, a copy of which was obtained by Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, Abadi’s media office said the decision was taken “due to deteriorating electricity services.”

The move comes a day after the Independent High Electoral Commission endorsed Abadi’s recommendations to sack five election officials after widespread allegations of fraud and irregularities in the May 12 parliamentary elections.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the spokesman for the Independent High Elections Commission, Judge Laith Jabr Hamza, said the five were sacked over charges of “irregularities, manipulation and financial corruption.”

Mass demonstrations against unemployment, corruption and poor electricity services spread further across southern and central Iraqi provinces three weeks ago.

The demonstrations started in Basra province, but they later extended to other cities, including Amara, Nasiriya, Karbala and the Shiite holy city of Najaf. There were also protests in parts of the capital, Baghdad.

The protests prompted Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to rush from a NATO summit in Brussels to Basra to meet with local officials and tribal leaders in a bid to restore calm.

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