Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi has no excuse for ignoring the implementation of judicial orders to summon and arrest members of parliament whose term ended last week and other senior state officials whom lawsuits pertaining to administrative and financial corruption as well as terrorism have been filed against.
In fact, there can be no legitimate excuse as the accused are no longer members of parliament and they do not enjoy parliamentary immunity.
The political powers, which had great influence in parliament and which Abadi feared “harassing” their MPs, ministers and corrupt chiefs or sponsors of terrorism are no longer capable of threatening to overthrow his government.
Upholding people’s rights and the country’s destiny is now the responsibility of Abadi and his government, until the counting and sorting of the election results are complete and the results are ratified, followed by the formation of the new parliament and government.
Over the past four years, Abadi had promised much, but little was achieved as even the promise to defeat terrorism was not completely kept. ISIS is still active and committing its crimes in cold blood in many places across the country.
Abadi is not being asked to hang the corrupt or terrorists in public squares as was the norm during the rule of the Ba’ath Party. All that is to be done is for judicial orders and summons to be executed and those wanted to be brought before the court.
Abadi has no excuse for ignoring the implementation of judicial orders issued to summon and arrest former members of parliamentAdnan Hussein
This includes those who have fled the country, including former MPs who escaped just a few days before the end of their parliamentary immunity. It is not difficult for Abadi and his government to bring them back through the Interpol.
Abadi can do a lot in this regard, from now till the formation of the new government, if he really means what he has claimed several times in the past to combat corruption and terrorism. His authority on this issue is no longer threatened by the powers to which the corrupt and terrorist belong.
I can draw the attention of Mr. Abadi to what Mahathir Mohamad, who became Malaysia’s prime minister for the second time, did.
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The first action he took after being sworn in as premier was issue arrest orders against his predecessor, the former prime minister, and a number of his family members and followers because they’re involved in corruption as they had stolen billions of dollars worth of Malaysian public money.
All what Abadi needs to do is to be honest with himself and his people, take the due and delayed decisions which he probably was not capable of taking earlier, as he was afraid of the response of the previous parliament whom the end of its term is not unfortunate!
So what will Abadi do after today?
This article is also available in Arabic.
Adnan Hussein is the executive editor-in-chief of Al-Mada newspaper and head of the National Union of Iraqi journalists. Previously, he has held the position of Managing Editor in Asharq al-Awsat newspaper. He tweets under the handle @adnanhussein.