Report: The Resigned Finance Minister Detonates A Bomb At The Foundations Of The Political System In Iraq
On August 18, 2022
Minister of Finance
The Independent/- Finance Minister Ali Abdul-Amir Allawi detonated a "dynamite package" in the foundations of the political system that ruled Iraq after 2003, and
this development came in a letter of resignation from the position that Allawi addressed to Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, on Tuesday evening.
Although most of what was mentioned in the speech about corruption and mismanagement in the joints of the Iraqi state, and the forces of power’s struggle over public money for years, is self-evident on the lips of most Iraqi citizens,
its issuance by a high-ranking official familiar with the weight of the Minister of Finance gives it exceptional and extreme importance
It was viewed locally by observers and those interested in political affairs as "the highest political document submitted by an Iraqi minister for two decades."
The resigned minister began his long 10-page speech by talking about the nature of the difficult circumstances that were associated with the formation of the government of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi in May 2020, in which he held his position, and about the challenges that it faced in terms of coming to the ruins of the government of Adel Abdul-Mahdi that toppled it.
Massive protest demonstrations, along with the outbreak of the “Covid-19” health problem and the country’s stifling economic crisis, which he said as:
“There were times when government funds were literally exhausted, and our foreign exchange reserves were withdrawn.”
After a long talk about the nature of the work of the Ministry of Finance,
the disastrous interventions by political parties and the rise of the unqualified to high positions in it,
“it was a ministry full of people with questionable qualifications” and
the willful neglect practiced by successive governments on this important ministry,
he moved to talk about urgent measures that He took it to face the successive crises that afflicted the country to prevent its collapse.
After mentioning the range of actions that have been taken, he concluded:
“However, it is very difficult to make significant economic changes and reforms on a continuous and permanent basis in light of the context of our political economy,
I must admit that I did not anticipate the appalling deterioration in the standards of governance in our country over the course of a long period of time. the past fifteen years.
Almost everything was conspiring to thwart real change and entrench the persistence of corrupt practices that destroy the moral and material foundations of the country.
Then Ali Allawi moved to talk about the case of the "Ishtar Gate" company, which erupted a few days ago, after the company won a court ruling in the amount of 600 million dollars against the Rafidain Governmental Bank. In his speech, he said:
“The issues of electronic payment corruption for me were the straw that broke the camel's back.
It was not a rare case, but it clearly reflected to all parties the extent of the imbalance in the system, as it crystallized the degree to which the status of the state deteriorated and became a puppet of special interests.
The matter is now with the judiciary and its investigations after the ministry made its observations, so it cannot be commented on.” He believed that
an issue of this kind “raises a whole range of questions about how to make the right decisions that affect millions of people and vital state institutions without regard to the public interest.
Extensive underground networks of corrupt high-ranking officials, businessmen, politicians, and state employees work in the shadows to control entire sectors of the economy, withdrawing billions from the public coffers.
These networks are protected by major political parties, parliamentary immunity, the arming of the law, and even foreign powers.
Although Allawi praised some of the achievements made by Mustafa Al-Kazemi's government, he admitted that
"it did not succeed in controlling corruption and then reducing it.
Corruption is a multi-headed beast and in the past twenty years it has dug deep roots in the country,
it cannot be controlled if there is no policy and consensus to do so, as corruption remains rampant, debilitating and widespread.
He also admitted its inability to curb external and internal interference in the state's work and sovereignty.
In addition to his long talk about issues of the economy and corruption, Allawi frequently touched on political issues, the issue of the current Sadrist protests, the position of the Najaf authority regarding the conflict between al-Sadr and his opponents from the Shiite "coordinating framework" forces, and issues related to the constitution and its rewriting. Allawi believes that
“civil disobedience is the only way to change,” and that
“state institutions, even in their weak state, lose their credibility and authority with the withdrawal of the Sadrist movement from the House of Representatives.
Any new government that is formed under the current regime lacks full legitimacy in my opinion unless it is recognized by the opposition outside Parliament.” He continued,
“There is no doubt that reforming this system with constitutional changes or even a new constitution is necessary, and
unlike humans, states do not die permanently, and (zombie) states can remain for years or even decades before they are buried,
I think that the state that emerged after an invasion 2003, showing signs of terminal illness.”
On his opinion of the position of the Najaf reference point and the external parties on the current political crisis, Allawi said:
“There is no external party that can separate the dispute, and
there is no willingness on the part of the honorable reference in Najaf to influence one side or the other or against both (the Sadrist movement). framework forces), this could give legitimacy to abandon the current system and move towards a new one. He concluded that
"there is no sacred constitution, which must be changed and amended as necessary to serve the greater interest of our people, and
in particular, vague clauses, uncertain powers, and difficult and even impossible conditions for making amendments, made it necessary to consider the possibility of new constitutional arrangements."