Ihsan Abdul Jabbar removed as Iraq’s acting finance minister over mismanagement claims

Oil minister took on financial role in August after Ali Allawi resigned

Ihsan Abdul Jabbar will no longer serve as Iraq’s acting finance minister after being voted out on Tuesday. AFP
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Iraq's Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar was on Tuesday removed from his role as acting finance minister by the country’s parliament, a leading politician has said.

Mr Abdul Jabbar's temporary role was the subject of a vote based on recommendations by the Finance Committee, MP Mustafa Sanad said during a parliamentary session.

Mr Sanad would not disclose who would take over the ministry, although Taif Sami Mohammed, Deputy Finance Minister and Director General of the Budget Department, has been tipped to fill the role.

Mahasin Hamdoun, an MP who chairs the Finance Committee, called for Mr Abdul Jabbar's removal over "mismanagement" and for allegedly failing to send financial statements to parliament. She also recommended filing a lawsuit against him.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi assigned the Finance Ministry to Mr Albdul Jabbar in August after the resignation of Ali Allawi, who stepped down in protest against what he called widespread corruption and the influence of political parties over the country’s revenue.

He has since been calling for increased investment in public services and limiting public sector hiring as well as other reforms, but the absence of a new government has placed constitutional limits on caretaker government spending.

Mr Allawi, a political veteran who was once an exiled opposition figure, is respected in some circles for publishing several papers outlining Iraq's structural economic problems.

He also wrote a celebrated book about the turmoil in the country after the US-led invasion, The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace.

Mr Abdul Jabbar’s removal comes amid a year-long political impasse over forming a new government after national elections were held last October.

Political rivals, mainly Shiites, are at loggerheads over who to appoint as prime minister and president, as well as how to fill critical posts fairly.

The early elections, the fifth parliamentary vote for a full-term government since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, were among the key demands of pro-reform protests that spread in central and southern Iraq in 2019.

Updated: October 11, 2022, 12:13 PM
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