Iraqi new government must listen to its people

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Spokesperson to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told Rudaw on Friday that the new government in Baghdad must answer the demands of its people.

Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani’s cabinet was voted in during a tense parliamentary session late Thursday, ending over a year of political deadlock. Kurdish leaders have congratulated the new premiere.

“The hard work starts now. It is important that the new government answers the legitimate demands of the people of Iraq for improved services [and] for improved governance but we will, of course, through our support mission in Iraq be standing with the government of Iraq and with the people of Iraq,” Stephane Dujarric told Rudaw’s Majeed Gly on Friday.

Asked about UN expectations from Sudani’s government, the spokesperson replied, “It is not for us to give expectations to a democratically-chosen government but the government of Iraq, like governments everywhere, need to listen to the people, make sure that they deliver basic services. It is not just an issue in Iraq, it is an issue across the world for any government.”

Rampant corruption plagues all levels of the Iraqi state while unemployment has been on the rise, adding to an ongoing economic crisis, exacerbated by the political deadlock which has frozen the much-needed 2022 budget.

Sudani’s cabinet held its first meeting on Friday, discussing the improvement of government’s operations, with the premiere advising his ministers to “stay away from making hasty decisions and issue orders, changes or amendments in their ministries,” according to a readout from his office.

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