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Iraq energy minister resigns

Former Iraq's Minister of Electricity, Majed Mahdi Hantoosh [Facebook]
Former Iraq's Minister of Electricity, Majed Mahdi Hantoosh [Facebook]

Iraq's Minister of Electricity, Majed Mahdi Hantoosh, submitted his resignation today following an escalation of protests over the repeated power outages in the country.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Electricity, Ahmed Moussa, told Anadolu Agency: "Hantoosh officially submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi."

"According to the information received, the prime minister has accepted it … which came after popular pressures due to the deterioration of the electricity service."

The resignation comes two days after the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada Al-Sadr, called for Hantoosh to be sacked.

Iraq has been suffering from a decades-old electricity shortage crisis as a result of successive wars and the instability of the security situation in the country, as well as rampant corruption.

READ: Iraqi health minister resigns in wake of deadly hospital fire

For many years, residents have protested against frequent power cuts, especially in the summer, when temperatures reach 50 degrees Celsius.

Iraq produces between 19,000-21,000 megawatts of power, but it needs over 30,000, according to officials in the sector.

Late last year, a commission of inquiry set up by parliament concluded that it had spent $81 billion on the electricity sector since 2005, with no significant improvement in service.

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