Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Sadr Calls for Cutting Off Electricity for Officials Inside Green Zone

Sadr Calls for Cutting Off Electricity for Officials Inside Green Zone

Tuesday, 18 June, 2019 - 13:15
Leader of Iraq's Sadrist Movement Muqtada al-Sadr (Reuters)
Baghdad- Hamza Mustafa
Leader of Iraq's Sadrist Movement Muqtada al-Sadr has suggested cutting off electricity for officials inside Baghdad’s Green Zone.

He attacked parties and militias that control the ministry of electricity, criticizing what Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb had said regarding the improvement of electricity in Iraq in October.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Khateeb both claimed in late May that electricity improvement projects were making progress.

Sadr suggested “cutting off electricity for officials, especially those in the Green [Zone], so they can feel the plight of the people, not extending an emergency line to their houses but to hospitals, schools, and some important bureaus.”

He said that “empty talk of improvements to the electricity grid is a mockery of Iraqis such as saying that surplus electricity will be exported abroad.”

Sadr also suggested “cutting off the hands” of militias and parties in control of the Ministry of Electricity and power stations, and he called for the sector’s nationalization “with Iraqi hands” – not external “occupying” firms.

He went on and called for the formation of an investigative committee to examine the “rampant corruption” in the electricity sector.

“Electricity bills should be collected by honest people otherwise citizens will not pay, and they should be based on household income and consumption,” Sadr stressed.

He also shed light on the importance of activating the benefit from non-occupied foreign companies to effectively repair and rehabilitate all that has been damaged.

Sadr explained that this should take place after allocating enough budget for this purpose and assigning honest people to take this responsibility.

Moreover, he called for forming competent committees with experience and high integrity to develop solutions and a comprehensive strategy to solve the electricity problem in Iraq without politicizing it.

Parliament member Mohammed Karbouli told Asharq Al-Awsat that Khateeb was aware of the difficulty of the file he had handled and willingly decided to take over this task.

He stressed that the latter has given fake promises to Iraqis, telling them they would enjoy a cool summer, yet he hasn't achieved any of those promises.

Editor Picks