Iraqi parliament sacks local governor after Mosul boat capsizing

Iraqi rescue team members are seen at the site where an overloaded ferry sank in the Tigris river near Mosul, Iraq March 22, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 24 March 2019
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Iraqi parliament sacks local governor after Mosul boat capsizing

  • Iraqi law gives the federal Parliament the right to sack provincial governors based on the suggestion of the prime minister

BAGHDAD: Iraq's parliament voted on Sunday to sack the governor of Nineveh after an overloaded ferry capsized, killing at least 90 people, in the provincial capital Mosul, state media said.
The boat was carrying families heading to an outing on an island in the Tigris River on Thursday when it sank. Many of the women and children on board could not swim.
Daesh militants were driven from Mosul nearly two years ago, but relief has given way to impatience over alleged corruption as reconstruction of the destroyed city has stalled.
Scores of protesters swarmed Iraq's president and the governor on Friday, forcing them to leave the site of the accident. The crowd threw stones and shoes at Governor Nawfal Hammadi Al-Sultan's car, which sped off hitting two people, one of whom was taken to hospital.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Saturday formally asked parliament to remove Sultan. Iraqi law gives the federal parliament the right to sack provincial governors based on the suggestion of the prime minister.
Parliament also voted to sack Sultan's two deputies, in line with Abdul Mahdi's request. The governor can appeal the decision at court. He has not commented on the vote yet.
Abdul Mahdi's letter to parliament accused Sultan of negligence, dereliction of duty, and said there was evidence he was misusing public funds and abusing power.
Protesters blamed negligence by the local government for the accident. The boat was loaded to five times its capacity, according to a local official.


Algeria graft prosecutor refers two ex PMs to supreme court

Updated 23 min 5 sec ago
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Algeria graft prosecutor refers two ex PMs to supreme court

  • Former prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal who served under President Abdelaziz Bouteflika were referred to the Supreme Court
  • Five other former ministers were also referred

ALGIERS: An Algerian prosecutor investigating graft allegations has referred two former prime ministers and five former ministers to the supreme court, Ennahar TV reported on Sunday citing a statement from the prosecution.
Mass protests have broken out in Algeria demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people demonstrators regard as corrupt. The seven politicians will be investigated by the court over alleged corruption cases, Ennahar said, without providing details.
They include former prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal who served under President Abdelaziz Bouteflika who resigned on April 2 after coming under pressure from protesters and the army.
The list of the former ministers, who are under investigation, includes Amara Benyounes, Abdelakader Zaalane, Amar Ghoul, Karim Djoudi and Abdessalam Bouchouareb.
They were in charge of the sectors of trade, transport, public works, finance and industry respectively.
Their lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment.
The army is now the most powerful institution after the departure of Bouteflika, who had ruled the North African country since 1999.
Army chief of staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah has said major corruption cases would be pursued to try to appease the protests that started on Feb.22.
Bouteflika's youngest brother, Said, and two former intelligence chiefs have been placed in custody by a military judge over "harming the army's authority and plotting against state authority."
At least five prominent businessmen have also been detained pending trial over involvement in corruption cases.
Protesters also want the resignation of interim president Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Beoui, who are considered as part of the ruling elite that has run the country since independence from France in 1962.