Members of Iraq's ruling coalition threaten to withdraw support for Abadi's reforms

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 29, 2015 6:11 AM

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - More than 60 members of Iraq's ruling coalition will seek to withdraw parliamentary support for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's reforms if he does not respond by Friday night to their demands for wider consultation, parliamentarians said.

The members of the State of Law coalition delivered a letter to the premier on Tuesday night expressing their concerns. A meeting with Abadi on Wednesday was poorly attended after most of the lawmakers decided to wait for a written response to their demands, the MPs told Reuters.

"If we do not get a written answer, the next step will be going to parliament and pushing for a decision to withdraw the authorization for reforms from Prime Minister Abadi," a lawmaker from the bloc said.

Abadi's spokesman declined to comment, describing the matter as party-related.

Abadi announced a reform campaign in August after protests erupted over graft and poor water and electricity services in Iraq, an OPEC oil producer.

Iraq's parliament then voted unanimously to approve the measures, which seek to scrap senior political offices that have become a vehicle for patronage for some of the most powerful people in Iraq.

The reforms have met with resistance from some politicians who regard them as unconstitutional and an overreach of Abadi's powers.

Many of the lawmakers who signed the letter are supporters of former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, who was criticized for perceived authoritarianism and was replaced by Abadi in September 2014.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed, Writing by Stephen Kalin,; Editing by Michael Georgy and Angus MacSwan)