Middle East Iraqi parliament to summon Kurdish head of electoral commission

Iraqi parliament to summon Kurdish head of electoral commission
Iraqi election officials check the seals on a ballot box before the country's provincial elections at a polling center in Baghdad, Iraq, April 20, 2013. (Photo: AP/Khalid Mohammed)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Kurdistan24) – The Parliament of Iraq has voted to summon the head of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), Sarbast Amedi, on Monday as part of the country’s efforts to reform the commission.

The decision to summon Amedi came after repeated allegations of corruption made by some of Iraqi parties, namely by al-Ahrar Bloc, a prominent Shia political faction with 34 seats in parliament out of the 328 total seats.

The current IHEC’s working group will be in place for another five months.

Previously, the Parliament requested Amedi to be present on March 16, 2017, but he was unable to attend as medical documents showed he was ill. He will be the second Kurdish official summoned by the parliament since 2016.

Amedi has confirmed that he will be present on Monday to respond to 17 cases prepared by al-Ahrar Bloc, where they allege corruption occurred.

Moqtada al-Sadr, a prominent Shia cleric who leads the al-Ahrar Bloc, has been responsible for several massive demonstrations in Baghdad which opposed the government of Iraq, calling for immediate reforms.

The Parliament so far has sacked two ministers from the current cabinet. In August 2016, Parliament supported a vote of no confidence against Former Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi under allegations he was involved in corruption within his ministry. It was at a time when Iraqi forces were preparing to launch the key offensive to liberate Mosul from the so-called Islamic State (IS).

In Sep. 2016, Hoshyar Zebari, former Finance Minister of Iraq, was also sacked under allegations of corruption in the Ministry.

 

Editing by Gabrielle Renaud