Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Ninewa Governor Surrounded In Bribery Accusations Over His Election

(Irfad)

Ninewa’s last Governor Akoub was dismissed in a flood of charges of corruption. His successor appears to be entering office under the same types of accusations.

The May 13 election of new Ninewa Governor Mansour Marid is surrounded in growing controversy over charges that the vote was fixed. Early on there were reports that various parties were offering bribes to Ninewa council members to influence their votes. Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbusi was allegedly one of those offering money to politicians. Then the day after the vote there was a slew of articles from different outlets that councilmen had in fact taken money. Al Mada provided the most detailed account of events saying two days beforehand a majority of the council had agreed on a candidate al-Abbar from the Iraqi Islamic Party to take the top post in the province. When ballots were cast however Marid came out on top. Various parliamentarians (MPs) in Baghdad said this was the result of bribes being paid. Speaker Halbusi referred several MPs to the new Anti-Corruption Council to be investigated over the charges. That led several MPs to switch blocs out of protest of the speaker’s actions.

Iraq continues to be awash in corruption. Ninewa has a very recent experience with that as the Integrity Commission said that $60 million was stolen by government officials connected to former Governor Nawful Akoub, and Akoub himself has an arrest warrant out for him as a result. It’s been said over the years that positions are often bought and sold by the political parties. While nothing has been proven about the Ninewa vote yet it would fit into previous patterns of bribery and graft that have occurred in the past.

SOURCES

Iraq News Network, “Soure: 250 thousand dollars and a luxury car to vote for the Halbusi candidate for the governor of Ninewa,” 5/6/19

Al Mada, “Parliament relies on the dismissal of the Ninewa Council and the governor in return for ignoring it,” 5/14/19

Middle East Monitor, “Iraq: $60m of gov’t funds stolen from Mosul,” 4/23/19

Reuters, “Iraq orders arrest of ex-governor after deadly ferry sinking,” 3/27/19

Rudaw, “Nineveh council elects Mansour Marid as new governor,” 5/13/19

Rwanduzy, Mohammed, “Nineveh governor election splits Sunnis in Baghdad,” Rudaw, 5/14/19

Saadoun, Mustafa, “Mosul faces political crisis after governor dismissed,” Al Monitor, 4/10/19

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