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Rudaw

Iraq

Sadr calls for privatization of electricity sector after protests

By Rudaw 12/7/2018
Iraqis in the southern province of Basra protest electricity and water shortages on the weekend. Photo: Rudaw
Iraqis in the southern province of Basra protest electricity and water shortages on the weekend. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Muqtada al-Sadr wants the government to privatize the electricity sector amid deadly protests over electricity shortages. 

The government should use “foreign, non-occupying” companies to improve electricity services, even if it goes against electoral gains, the influential cleric said in a statement on Thursday. 

Sadr, who emerged as the winner in Iraq’s May parliamentary election, running on an anti-corruption platform, urged the government to “move forward with privatizing electricity, with the condition of handing it over to private Iraqi or foreign companies and the removal of bill collection from the corridors of the corrupt government.”

He called on the people to conserve electricity and pay their bills promptly. He also asked for poor villages and rural communities to be provided with generators. 

Protests in the sweltering southern province of Basra have raged for more than a week. On Thursday, protesters threatened to seize control of the border crossing with Iran, demanding better access to water, electricity, and jobs. 

One protester in Basra was killed on Sunday when security forces opened fire. 

Sadr urged the demonstrators to remain peaceful. He announced he will send a delegation to visit the protesters and added he is open to leading a “demonstration of a million,” similar to the weekly anti-government protests he led in Baghdad. 

Iraq and the Kurdistan Region suffer from chronic electricity shortages. 

Comments

 
Peleng | 12/7/2018
Basra is burning and Rudaw presents the story as if was some usual small scale protests, the big oil companies are all evacuating their staff after being under seage. More and more protests in Baghdad, it's so bad that there's is a media ban by the Iraqi government!. And that's not all, ISIS attacks have become daily occurance in Kirkuk and other areas. The Sunnis have started to protest the appualing conditions in Mosul and many other places, I'm going to hold back the best part for a nice upcoming surprise....Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall...
non kurd | 14/7/2018
Sadr is right, open markets within private sector introduces competition where only the best service providers rise to the top. centralized planning doesn't work well.
pancakes 4 all | 14/7/2018
back to stone and sticks and democractic elections in baghdad
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