Thursday, June 9, 2011

Protest inevitable response to "bloated government"

Erbil, June 9 (AKnews) – Iraq is set to be rocked by more mass protests as the "bloated' government adds to its "unmet promises". This is the warning from Erbil based independent think tank, Pird (bridge) Research Centre.

abdorahmad sadiq
Head of the organization, Abdurrahman Saddiq, pulls no punches in his counsel to the government in Baghdad.

He said today in an interview with AKnews that demonstrations are likely to "explode on the streets" once more in Iraq as the people realize that Nouri al-Maliki's government is based on promises he made to political parties rather than the needs of the country.

Saddiq argues that the prime minister's 43-point program (targets for the next four years, laid out on the formation of the coalition government in December) is nothing but a fiction, and that it will never be implemented.

The Iraqi government is a "lumbering train of a cabinet", said Saddiq, referring to the swollen size of the 42 ministry government. Maliki created numerous posts to "satisfy those parties that he had promised positions to for supporting him in keeping his job"

"It was not because the country needed all those ministries. It should have been an expected consequence that the government would not be quick in decision-making or performing its tasks"

In response to the questions about the likelihood of a new outbreak of protests as a result of the end of the prime minister's 100-day deadline last Tuesday he said "Yes – Maliki has set targets that it is nearly impossible to even hit part of it, let alone all of them"

Maliki was only able to implement a small portion of his 34-point program in his 2006-2010 term, said Saddiq. He pointed to his failure to execute article 140 of the Iraqi constitution - which provides for compensation for Kurds persecuted by Saddam and a referendum of the extension of the Kurdish autonomous region – as a case in point.

Protests broke out in February following disgruntlement with corruption, the lack of basic services and unemployment in the country.

According to Transparency International's 2010 perception of corruption index, Iraq is the world's 4th most corrupt country after Sudan, Myanmar and Afghanistan.

by Raber Y. Aziz, reporting by Sarbaz Salih
RY/PS

09/06/2011 15:26