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Iraq’s Health Minister Resigns under Political Pressure

Iraq’s Health Minister Resigns under Political Pressure

Monday, 16 September, 2019 - 06:15
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa
Iraqi Minister of Health Alaa Alwan presented Sunday his resignation to Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi for unknown reasons.

However, MP Hussein Arab told Asharq Al-Awsat that the minister resigned after facing pressure from a party he did not name and after the government ignored Alwan’s complaints on several issues.

In his resignation letter, Alwan thanked Abdul Mahdi “for his trust and for his recommendations and support to the heath and environmental sector… and for backing him personally.”

This is Alwan’s second attempt to resign this year, after first tendering his resignation in March, before being convinced to stay on by Abdul Mahdi.

On Sunday, the PM had still not decided on the minister’s resignation.

Legal expert Tareq Harb said the Prime Minister, government or MPs lack the legal or constitutional power to reject Alwan’s resignation.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Baha Araji said that the minister’s resignation holds several implications, mainly that honesty and professionalism cannot survive in state institutions because Iraq is dominated by a party system and by corrupt officials with strong powers.

MP Hassan Khalati said that parliament should form committees tasked with revealing the parties behind the pressure exerted on cabinet ministers.

Alwan’s resignation leaves Abdul Mahdi with a cabinet short of two ministers.

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