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Iraq deputy speaker threatens oil, electricity ministers with confidence vote if electricity issues not addressed

With elections looming in October
File Photo - Council of Representatives’ First Deputy Speaker Hassan al-Kaabi - (File)
2021-01-25

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SULAIMANI — Council of Representatives’ First Deputy Speaker Hassan al-Kaabi warned on Sunday (January 24) that the lawmakers could withdraw confidence from the federal oil and electricity ministers if levels of electricity provision do not improve.

Al-Kaabi directed the parliamentary oil and energy and services and construction committees to summon Minister of Oil Ihsan Abdul Jabbar and Minister of Electricity Majid Mahdi Hantoush for briefings, according to al-Kaabi’s media office.

The deputy speaker said that the ministers should be prepared to answer questions about how they plan to make up for the reductions in gas imports from Iran, which fuel about a third of Iraq’s power supply.

Last year, Iran slashed its gas exports to Iraq from 50 to five cubic meters, citing Iraq’s failure to pay debts owed on previous imports.

He threatened to remove both ministers from their positions if the electricity situation does not improve soon, read the statement.

During the summer months, protests demanding improved public services, including electricity, are common in in central and southern provinces.

Iraq will hold parliamentary elections in October, putting pressure on politicians to appear proactive on the issue.

(NRT Digital Media)