A series of measures was unanimously passed by the Iraqi parliament that was designed to reform the corrupt political system of the country. However, by eliminating a number of senior positions and deleting sectarian quotas, the administration has potentially taken the risk of alienating further the Sunni minority. This is important as the Iraqi Government is trying to defeat ISIS- a Sunni militant group.
This measure, proposed on August 9 by Haider al-Abadi, the Iraqi Prime Minister encompasses a wide range of issues. The aim is to fight corruption and conserving money as well. Cost cutting will take the form of slashing expensive perks given to government officials. The notable among the proposed steps include elimination of important posts of vice presidents and deputy prime ministers- three of each. One of the soon to be eliminated posts is held by Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the former Prime Minister.
There was never any doubt concerning the reforms. These measures had the crucial support of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the prominent Iraqi Shiite cleric, who enjoys wide popularity among the Shiite majority. There is also widespread grievance among the general population against the current system of governance.
If these are executed successfully, and in such a manner which brings the warring Iraqi communities together, then these steps could mark the turning point of the embattled nation. Nadhum al-Saadi, a member of Parliament and a Shiite, has the opinion that it is a historical moment and could well turn out to be a radical turn around for the country’s political system.
Unity and Danger
The Parliament vote was considered a rare display of unity among the Iraqi political class. Many Iraqis fervently hope that this measure will reshape the defective political system in place from 2003, the year the US invaded the country. There are dangers in taking the measures as well.
It is well-known that grievances are frequently settled in blood in Iraq. The Prime Minister knows very well the dangers in eliminating the many perks available to powerful officials under the new system. In a speech to ordinary Iraqis, he promised reform even in fear of death. The Prime Minister said that he trusted in God and in the support of his people.
Prime Minister Abdi has the support of the international community as well. Gyorgy Busztin, acting UN representative, made a statement on August 11, saying that these measures may strengthen the national unity. They could also accelerate reconciliation at a time when honest Iraqis must pool their efforts to fight terror.