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Iraq: Intense Competition in Nineveh Over Governor Seat, Two Days After Agub’s Sacking

Iraq: Intense Competition in Nineveh Over Governor Seat, Two Days After Agub’s Sacking

Tuesday, 26 March, 2019 - 08:00
Members of the Iraqi Civil Defence pull the ferry which sank in Mosul on March 21, 2019 out of the Tigris River. Reuters
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa
Two days after the governor of Nineveh was sacked by the Iraqi parliament over a deadly sinking ferry incident, an intense competition kicked off among political forces over the vacant seat through bribes and political deals.

“Some political forces already started to pay huge amounts of money to reserve the seat of the Nineveh governor,” National Coalition MP Intisar al-Jabouri told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday.

Last Sunday, Nineveh governor, Nofal Al Agub, was sacked by the Parliament after the sinking of a ferry in Mosul, the provincial capital, in which nearly 100 people died.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called for the governor to be dismissed for "availability of investigations proving waste of public funds and influence peddling."

For his part, former Nineveh governor Atheel al-Nujaifi told Asharq Al-Awsat that any political side wishing to interfere in the affairs of the city and to mix between the political and administrative work, would be harming Nineveh instead of benefiting it.

Al-Nujaifi said that amid the rapacious run on the governor seat among Sunni forces, it is best to keep Dr Muzahim Al Khayat, who was appointed by the Prime Minister to chair the council of operations chiefs and police commanders until the provincial council elects a new governor.

“Khayat is known for being distanced from all political forces and he has the capacity to rebuild the city’s infrastructure,” he said.

However, deputy provincial council chief Nuriddin Qabalan announced Monday that the council would open the door of candidature for the governor seat and his deputy next week.

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