Date :Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 | Time : 12:38 |ID: 117766 | Print

Iraq enact reforms to end protests

SHAFAQNA- Iraq’s Shia spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani had earlier urged for an end to violence in Iraq and, calls on Iraqi authorities to take clear anti-corruption measures, clear steps for reform. Now, Iraq enact reforms to end protests. Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi released a 17-point plan.

While Iraq has been rocked by days of protests, as thousands of mostly young men have been demonstrating against corruption, unemployment and poor public services, Iraq’s most senior Shia spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged both sides to end the violence, and he blamed politicians, particularly lawmakers, for failing to enact promised reforms on the economy and corruption.

The Iraqi government has pledged to carry out a series of planned reforms following an “extraordinary” session and several days after sporadic protests against alleged economic difficulties started in the Arab country.

The cabinet issued a decree including more than a dozen planned reforms, including land distributions, military enlistment and increased welfare stipends for needy families, AFP news agency reported.

In response to staggering youth unemployment, which has reached around 25 percent according to the World Bank, the government said it would create large market complexes and boost benefits for those without work.

The plan also includes a wide ministerial reshuffle and the formation of a high constitutional body to deal with corruption cases submitted to the country’s Supreme Judiciary Council, according to presstv.

PM released a 17-point plan in reaction to the protesters demands. It includes increased subsidized housing for the poor, stipends for the unemployed as well as training programs and small loans initiatives for unemployed youth. Abdul Mahdi’s reform plan included granting of plots of land to low-income families, building 100,000 new homes in poor areas, a monthly grant to the unemployed and the disabled, small trading stalls to provide job opportunities, and new training courses for graduates.

The Iraqi premier had earlier called on the three branches of the government to cooperate in his plans to purge the country of corruption.

On Friday, Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi had vowed to implement plans to generate housing, employment, and health “within a time frame.” He supported the protesters’ demands, promising that the legislature would work on combating corruption, which he said was “as dangerous as terrorism.”

Iraqi intellectuals have also proposed various frameworks with which to implement gradual, long-term, structural reform. For example, Iraqi journalist and analyst Mushreq Abbas and others have called for a new electoral law and an independent electoral commission that would allow the electoral process to become more representative and pave the way for the formation of a genuine parliamentary opposition beyond the ruling oligarchy, aljazeera told.

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