Iraq PM sacks electricity minister

BAGHDAD : Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday sacked his minister of electricity after three weeks of protests against corruption and chronic power cuts in the energy-rich country.

A statement from Abadi’s office said the premier sacked Qassem al-Fahdawi – whose departure was demanded by protesters – “because of the deterioration in the electricity sector”.

Iraq has been gripped by protests over power outages, unemployment, state mismanagement and a lack of clean water.

The demonstrations – during which 14 people have been killed in clashes – erupted in the neglected southern province of Basra, home to Iraq’s only sea port, before spreading north including to Baghdad.

Published in The Nation, 30th July, 2018