Iraq PM Sacks Electricity Minister

Iraq PM Sacks Electricity MinisterIraq PM Sacks Electricity Minister

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday sacked his minister of electricity, his office said, following weeks of protests against corruption and chronic power outages. Reuters quoted a statement by Abadi's office, staying the premier sacked Qassem al-Fahdawi, whose departure was demanded by protesters, "because of the deterioration in the electricity sector". Iraq has been gripped by three weeks of protests during which demonstrators have railed against power shortages, unemployment, lack of clean water and state mismanagement. The protests first erupted in the oil-rich but neglected southern province of Basra, home to Iraq's only seaport, before spreading to neighboring regions and north to Baghdad. Power shortages have become chronic in Iraq, a country wracked by a series of conflicts that have devastated its infrastructure. Since 2003, Iraq has allocated state budgets a total of $40 billion to rebuild its power network, according to official figures. But households continue to get only a few hours of electricity a day, as some of the funds appear to have been embezzled.


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