By the Iraqi Social Forum Secretariat.
Baghdad – August 11, 2015.
The Iraqi Council of Representatives unanimously voted today on a paper of reforms to combat corruption and government waste, that was approved by the Council of Ministers in an extraordinary session held last Sunday. This is a result of the public pressure produced in the past two weeks by massive social protests that took place in many Iraqi provinces in the Center and South of Iraq, and the province of Sulaimaniyah in Kurdistan. Thousands of angered Iraqi citizens took part in the protests against poor services and the spread of financial and administrative corruption in Iraq, demanding reforms and asking authorities to hold politicians accountable for such failures.
The government reform paper includes: abolishing a number of positions which are unnecessary, which had been created to satisfy sectarian or party quotas, and cost the state budget a huge amount of money; reducing the financial and moral benefits to Iraqi officials; appointing specialized committees to fight financial and administrative corruption; working to improve delivery of public services and develop infrastructures. This vote of the Iraqi Parliament was bending to the will of the angry masses and marked the triumph of their civil protests.
The Iraqi Social Forum issued last Thursday, August 6, the following statement to support the demonstrations that swept the country, and called for the urgent implementation of people’s demands:
We call for an immediate response to the demands of the masses
During the past few weeks, the suffering of people from all sects due to the increase in temperature and the electricity cuts has prompted many to protest, and at the same time some professional sectors have stepped up their demands for payment of salaries without delay, and for payment of salaries of employees in self-financing companies. All of the above resulted in a growing number of people taking out to the streets, a right that is constitutionally guaranteed, therefore we in the Iraqi Social Forum support these demonstrations and stand in solidarity with them. We call for:
1- These demonstrations to keep peaceful and uphold the demands of the masses
2- The security departments to protect these peaceful demonstrations
3- The demonstrations to keep focused on the provision of services and salaries and the fight against corruption, as a key platform of demands that need an urgent response
4- The popular masses and intellectuals to take part in the protests, support their goals and exercise pressure to achieve them
5- Protests to be based on unity of the popular masses, avoiding any kind of provocation.