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4 Iraq MPs protest government failure to honour Basra

November 2, 2018 at 11:09 am

People gather in front of the governor’s building to stage a protest in Iraq’s oil-rich Basra province on 5 September 2018 [Haider el Esedi/Anadolu Agency]

Four Iraqi lawmakers have suspended their membership in the government after no ministers were chosen to represent the oil-rich southern province of Basra in the newly formed government.

“Basra should be represented in the Council of Ministers. It is unreasonable to exclude the province which is considered the economic capital of Iraq and which generates Iraq’s financial revenues and oil imports, as well as being the sole port of Iraq,” the deputies said in a statement yesterday.

“We warn for the last time of a public revolution in Basra street which is increasingly convinced that it is a second class and that the marginalisation is intentional. We remind you that the previous government’s failure to deal with the Basra crises has caused financial and human losses that we do not wish to be repeated,” they added.

Basra has 25 seats out of 329 in the Iraqi parliament.

Iraq’s central and southern provinces have seen sporadic popular protests since 9 July against the deterioration of public services including electricity and water as well as high unemployment.

Read: Iraq children suffering from water-borne diseases in Basra