Reforms to rid Iraq of legacy of US occupation

Iraq’s New Sabah newspaper welcomed the reforms. However, it expressed its concern that the plan was based on the call for by Iraq’s supreme religious authority. “Does this mean that the Iraqi people will every time have to wait for the religious authority to interfere in the political process and call for reforms, while the political groups, which are directly responsible, are unable to do so?” 

The paper called on Al Abadi to abolish the current government and form a technocratic administration if he wants to put Iraq on the right path, eliminate corruption, and bring corrupt officials to justice. 

Commenting on the issue, the UAE’s Al Khaleej newspaper said that Iraq now only had two only options: either continue sinking in the quagmire of sectarian division, corruption and terrorism or to get rid of the legacy of the American invasion and sect-based political system. 

“There is no doubt that hateful sectarianism has been the source of corruption, evil and terrorism in Iraq ever since it fell into the fist of the American occupation, after which Iraq turned into [a zone of] sectarian and ethnic entities and has been controlled by political parties and groups that only care about power and wealth.” 

Bearing in mind chaos and corruption in Iraq, national unity is the only way to remake a strong, united Iraq through courageous national initiatives aimed at reforming politics that have deviated from the course since 2003, the paper said. “Iraq needs a comprehensive national plan to put an end to the sectarian quota [system] and eradicate corruption. 

Iraqis, who have suffered from corruption, poor services, power cuts and terrorism for almost 12 years, have united in protest, crossing all sectarian and ethnic lines. This is a good sign that the Iraqis may unite again under a national umbrella” 

Saudi Arabia’s Al Riyadh newspaper said that the Iraqi protests against corruption, poor services and power cuts have once again united Iraqis and prompted Al Abadi to make such daring decisions. “Although some see the new measures as a response to Iraq’s most senior Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, the message behind the growing public anger and protests has clearly been conveyed to the Baghdad administration. 

Al Abadi’s move, [which will lead to] the annulment of key state posts, including that of vice-president and deputy prime minister, will pave the way for changing the rules of ministerial representation based on the sectarian quota.” The newspaper said the reform plan heralds the emergence of a new political elite and the exit of old faces who emerged after the US invasion 

Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar said that what is happening in Iraq since the end of July — the wide-ranging demonstrations calling for an end to power cuts and corruption as well as asking for better services — is an expression of the people’s growing anger against the chaos and disastrous situation enabled by the US occupation forces. 

“The US occupation [forces] worked hard to implement spiteful designs by sowing the seeds of sectarianism, and [setting up] ethnic quotas, [which have become] a major obstacle to rebuilding Iraq and its national institutions. Now, after years of bitter outcomes, Iraqis have the right to raise their voice and work together to get ride of the political class and the legacy of the occupation. 

The Iraqis need to uproot those in power and replace them with patriotic and qualified individuals who will prioritise the rebuilding of Iraq and respect the will of its people.” 

Jordan’s Al Rai newspaper noted that Al Abadi’s reforms would have not been possible without the protests from the Iraqi people, describing them as the return of Iraq’s soul, which has never let down its people and Arab nation. 

“Iraq will remain immune to sectarian and ethnic partition, as it has remained elusive to [the aims of] the US and Iran to dominate it... Since the Tower of Babel remains in Iraq as a testament to its rich and deep-rooted civilisation, Iraqis will undoubtedly overthrow the political structure created by Paul Bremer, and the pro-Tehran regime.” 

by Khitam Al Amir

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