Iraq's new premier sacks senior officials

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Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani announced Tuesday the dismissal of several senior officials appointed by his predecessor, days after a confidence vote in his government.

Lawmakers approved al-Sudani's cabinet on Thursday following a year of political stalemate and bitter infighting between Shia Muslim factions following contested elections.

At a cabinet session, al-Sudani repealed several appointments made by former prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi following the October 2021 polls, citing the government's “interim” status.

The officials dismissed were not identified, but a government source told AFP that intelligence chief Raed Jouhi was among them.

“According to the Supreme Court, an interim government does not have the right” to make such senior appointments,” al-Sudani told his first press conference as prime minister.

He also vowed to tackle endemic corruption, calling it “a serious threat to the Iraqi state, more dangerous than all other threats that have weighed on Iraq.”

“The citizens want to feel that there is a sense of responsibility, and that looted money is returned,” he added, without announcing any concrete measures.

Iraq is ranked 157 out of 180 in Transparency International's corruption perceptions index.

Al-Sudani also appeared to back away from a plan to hold elections “within a year,” noting that parliament must be involved in such a move.

Iraq's parliament must dissolve itself before a new vote can be held.

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