Iraqi Parliament votes to abolish financial preferences for civil servants – Source

Baghdad, Nov 20: Amid ongoing protests, the Iraqi parliament (Council of Representatives) has voted in favor of abolishing financial privileges for civil servants, a source in the Iraqi legislature told Sputnik. “The parliament voted during a meeting today for a bill to abolish financial preferences for civil servants,” the source said late on Tuesday, specifying that the measure is part of a reform package promised by Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi. In the last week of October, Mahdi said that he would carry out a cabinet reshuffle and introduce changes to election laws amid mass protests in the country. The prime minister also announced a 50 percent reduction in salaries for high-ranked officials, including ministers and the president. In addition, the Iraqi authorities have promised to consider amending the constitution to decrease the number of parliamentarians. The demonstrations began in Iraq at the start of October, with mostly young Iraqis protesting against government policies, corruption, unemployment and a low quality of life. Last week, Iraq’s prime minister announced that the mass protests could be a “great opportunity” for carrying out reforms in the country. Mahdi has warned against the government’s resignation saying that it would throw the country into further chaos.

The Independent High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) of Iraq announced earlier this month that over 300 people had been killed and nearly 15,000 had been injured during protests in Iraq.  (AGENCIES)