Iraqi PM Abadi pledges corruption drive after Sistani criticism

by Reuters
Saturday, 9 January 2016 14:33 GMT

(Refiles to additional subscribers)

BAGHDAD, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday pledged to stamp out corruption this year amid criticism from the nation's highest Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, that his government has done little to combat graft.

Sistani, a reclusive octogenarian, enjoys almost mythological stature among millions of Shi'ite followers and wields authority few Iraqi politicians would openly challenge.

Corruption within the officers corp was one of the reasons of the Iraqi army's failure to oppose the sweaping advance of Islamic State in 2014, according to the findings of an ad-hoc parliamentary committee.

"2016 is the year of eliminating corruption, there is no such things as acceptable corruption and non-acceptable corruption," Abadi said in a speech at a ceremony to celebrate the anniversary of the Iraqi police force in Baghdad.

Sistani on Friday renewed his calls to the government to reform the administration and combat corruption.

"A year has lapsed and nothing has been achieved on the ground," his representative, Sheikh Ahmed al-Safi, told the worshippers in a sermon in Kerbala, a holy Shiite city south of Baghdad. (Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Latest News
Comments Close
Iraqi PM Abadi pledges corruption drive after Sistani criticism

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus