Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Iraq parliament approves new government

Iraqi lawmakers have thrown their support behind a government headed by the country's new Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.

The legislatures voted in favor of the premier’s 21-member cabinet on Thursday.

“Our ministerial team will shoulder the responsibility at this critical period, in which the world is witnessing tremendous political and economic changes and conflicts,” Sudani’s office said in a statement after the vote.

Those changes would “add new challenges to our country, which is already suffering from accumulated crises, that have had economic, social, humanitarian, and environmental impacts on our citizens,” it added.

The vote was held precisely one week after the parliament elected Abdul Latif Rashid as the Arab nation’s new president, who immediately named Sudani as his premier.

Rashid’s election took place against the backdrop of three failed attempts by the legislative body to pick a head of state.

The country held general elections last year. Popular Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr won the contest, but failed to rally enough support to form a government.

Sudani has pledged to hold early elections “within a year.”

The new premier is, meanwhile, expected to tackle the country’s deep-rooted corruption.

Official figures published last year estimated that well over $400 billion had gone missing from state coffers in the nearly two decades that have passed since former dictator Saddam Hussein’s fall in 2003.

According to the United Nations, about one-third of Iraq’s 41 million population now lives in poverty, while some 35 percent of young people are unemployed.

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