SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ) MESOP : HOSHYAR – A FAT CAT ? – Disputes in Iraqi parliament between MP, KDP bloc over Zebari ‘corruption’

BAGHDAD,— A session of the Iraqi Parliament was suspended on Saturday after tensions erupted between lawmakers from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) bloc and MP Haitham al-Jabouri.The session was suspended after Jabouri brought a petition calling to complete the questioning of Iraqi Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a KDP member and Massoud Barzani’s uncle, over allegations of corruption.

In a session held on Thursday, the Iraqi Parliament questioned Zebari on claims of financial and administrative irregularities and the misuse of state funds in his ministry. The questioning was carried out on the request of MP Haitham al-Jabouri and was put to a vote by the MPs to decide whether they were convinced by Zebari’s response and whether they will renew confidence in Zebari. Iraqi Parliament members on Thursday voted 142-102 to sack Defense Minister Khali al-Obeidi, after a session of questioning over corruption charges. He had denied the corruption allegations and in turn accused Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri and five other MPs of wrongdoing. Lawmakers have accused the Defense Ministry of wasting billions of dollars and weakening the armed forces to the point where they collapsed in 2014 in the face of the Islamic State onslaught under the previous government led by Nuri al-Maliki, who was also acting defense minister.