Iraq’s senior Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has called for the unimpeded implementation of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s reforms aimed at combating corruption and cutting government cuts in the Arab country.
“The need to protect the constitution and the law must not be used by the legislative or any other authority to circumvent or delay the reform steps,” Ayatollah Sistani was quoted by his representative Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai as saying on Friday.
The remarks came four days after the Iraqi parliament voted unanimously to bar the premier’s administration from implementing, without its approval, key reforms envisioned in a comprehensive plan aimed at fighting corruption and reducing government costs in the Middle Eastern country.
As part of the reform initiative, which had been overwhelmingly approved by the Iraqi legislature back in August, Abadi eliminated three vice president posts and three deputy prime minister positions. He also reduced the size of officials’ security details and dismissed 123 deputy ministers and general managers.
Some of Abadi’s proposed changes to the country’s political system have been implemented but others appear to have stalled.
Apart from public anger over corruption in Iraq, the country also faces a difficult security situation. Gruesome violence has plagued the northern and western parts of Iraq ever since the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group launched its activities and took control of portions of the country in June 2014.
Iraqi army soldiers and the Popular Mobilization units have been engaged in joint operations to take back militant-held regions.