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Iraq: Parliament Sacks Local Governor over Ferry Sinking

Iraq: Parliament Sacks Local Governor over Ferry Sinking

Saturday, 23 March, 2019 - 09:30
General view of the scene where an overloaded ferry sank in the Tigris river near Mosul in Iraq, March, 21,2019. REUTERS/Stringer
Asharq Al-Awsat
Iraq’s parliament voted on Sunday to sack Nawfal Hammadi al-Sultan, governor of Nineveh, after an overloaded ferry capsized, killing at least 90 people, in the provincial capital Mosul, state media said.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi made a formal request to parliament to fire Sultan.

Most of those killed in Thursday's sinking on the Tigris River were women and children headed out of Iraq's second city Mosul for a Mother's Day picnic on the Kurds' Nowruz New Year holiday.

In a letter to the speaker of parliament, Abdul Mahdi said there was clear evidence of "negligence and concrete failings" that merited a vote on dismissing the governor.

"An ongoing investigation has found evidence of the misuse of public funds and the fraudulent abuse of his office," the prime minister alleged.

Iraqi law gives the federal parliament the right to sack provincial governors based on the suggestion of the prime minister.

The governor has already been severely criticized by the victims' relatives and their supporters over alleged corruption and favoritism.

When he visited the site of the accident on Friday, stones were thrown at his convoy by protesters demonstrating against perceived corruption and neglect.

There is widespread anger in Mosul at the slow pace of reconstruction since the city's recapture from ISIS in 2017 by Iraqi troops backed by a US-led coalition.

The city still bears the scars of three years of iron-fisted rule by the extremists.

Survivors of Thursday's disaster were treated in hospitals heavily damaged by the months-long military campaign against ISIS.

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