ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday ordered an immediate investigation into corruption-ridden deals involving the sale of “fake employment contracts” to Iraqis before the legislative elections scheduled for May 12.
Reports have recently been circulated online indicating that some political forces have begun to register the names of unemployed citizens, offering them fake contracts as the elections approach.
In an official statement, Abadi’s office said the Prime Minister had ordered “the opening of an immediate investigation into files of corruption related to allegations of the offer or sale of fictitious employment contracts for citizens by political parties.”
The statement explained that the forged employment contracts do not fall under the “financial allocations in the budget” and that they only “exist with the aim of achieving electoral gains illegally.”
The statement did not release the names of the political bodies involved in the incident nor any further details on the matter.
Iraq remains high on Transparency International’s corruption index while widespread fraud, as well as mismanagement in state institutions, is the most significant challenge facing the country since the fall of the former regime nearly 15 years ago.
Abadi has vowed to tackle the issue, often repeating such promises as he looks to secure a second term as Prime Minister of Iraq.
Despite widespread protests by Iraqis in different cities, corruption continues to swallow up government resources as it struggles to cope with rising spending due to the cost of the ongoing Islamic State war and the global drop in oil prices.