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Iraq's Electricity Minister Suspended Over Poor Services

Iraqi Electricity Minister Qassim al-Fahdawi (file photo)
Iraqi Electricity Minister Qassim al-Fahdawi (file photo)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has ordered the suspension of the country's electricity minister amid protests over poor public services and rampant corruption.

Abadi’s office said on July 29 that Qassim al-Fahdawi will be suspended until an investigation into his role in the deterioration of utility services is completed.

There was no immediate comment from Fahdawi.

Iraq was hit by a wave of protests this month, partially due to poor electricity services during the hot summer.

The demonstrations erupted in the oil-rich southern province of Basra before spreading to neighboring regions, with protesters demanding better electricity and water services, jobs, and an end to graft.

Iraq has also been gripped by political tensions as politicians are struggling to form a new government following parliamentary elections in May that were marred by allegations of fraud, prompting a recount.

Abadi, who is seeking a second term in office, is heading a caretaker government.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa