Dismissal for electricity minister: Iraqi PM
Iraq's PM moves to dismiss electricity minister over power contracts
Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, has ordered hid electricity minister to be fired after it was revealed he signed $1.7 billion in allegedly improper contracts, AFP has reported.
Raad Shallal al-Ani signed two contracts to expand and improve the nation’s electricity network – one with Canadian firm Capgent and German firm MBH – which have been reported as fake. A conflicting report from a parliamentary official, according to the AFP report, says that calls for dismissal were due to Al Ani failing to follow cabinet guidelines on signing power contracts, as the companies did not meet Iraqi criteria to be defined as suppliers.
Despite calls from the Prime Minister, Al-Ani can only be dismissed by parliamentary agreement. The news comes just a year after the post’s previous incumbent resigned amid protests over failing power networks in the country.
Currently putting out 7,000 megawatts (from both in-country generation and imports), Iraq is facing demand of twice that amount, leading to frequent blackouts.