Baghdad – Days after the Iraqi Parliament sacked the Minister of Finance Hoshyar Zebari, member of Parliamentary Integrity Committee and only Kurdish MP at the Reform Front announced he had collected the signature for questioning FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
On September 21, the Iraqi parliament withdrew confidence from the Minister of Finance with 158 MPs voting in favor and 77 voted against, while 14 abstained.
The Iraqi MP said that the decision bring the Jaafari for inquiry has not been voted within the front, but rather comes as an individual act.
An Iraqi academic said that questioning Jaafari won’t be about his performance as a foreign minister but corruption cases since the Parliamentary Commission on Integrity requested the investigation.
The members of Iraqi parliament are collecting signatures to call the former Foreign Minister of Iraq back to the parliament, said a Kurdish MP on Monday.
Adil Nouri, a Kurdish member of Iraqi parliament said that so far 65 signatures have been collected to bring the Foreign Minister back to the parliament to question him about some cases related to corruption in the ministry.
He added that he expects to collect more signatures.
Nouri stated that after obtaining enough signatures, the petition would be sent to the Parliament speaker of Iraq Salim al-Jabouri.
A number of MPs revealed that they have presented a list of three ministers and two directors of independent committees. They added that the inquiry will begin with FM to be followed by the Minister of Agriculture Falah al-Zaydan and Head of Media and Communications Committee Safieddine Rabieh.
Jaafari was the first PM elect after Eyad Allawi’s government. About a month ago he lost the presidency of National Coalition to Head of Supreme Islamic Council Ammar al-Hakim.
If the parliament did vote on sacking Jaafari, it is possible that this will be his last post since the parliamentary bloc, Reform Bloc, didn’t gain a lot of votes in the parliament to play a role in the political decisions in Iraq.
MP of State of Law Coalition Ahmad Taha Shiekh Ali told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the inquiry could be part of the long awaited reform process in Iraq. He said that it is a constitutional right, but the way it had been used determines whether it is part of the reform process or just an individual act.
MP Sheikh added that questioning Jaafari was not a decision formed by the Front but an act executed by a MP, and would be dealt with accordingly.
Head of Iraqi Group for Strategic Studies Watheq al-Hashimi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Foreign Ministry’s was not as required, neither in the time of Hoshyar Zebari nor Jaafari.
Hashimi ruled out the possibility that questioning Jaafari is a political issue, saying it is merely a corruption case. He said that when the inquiries are done for political reasons, Iraqi government will be the only one losing, since its ministers are being sacked without replacement which could jeopardize foreign support.