On Tuesday, Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani confirmed that the government is ready for the upcoming early elections, which were called following the dissolution of the House of Representatives.
According to a statement from his media office, Al-Sudani discussed his vision for regional partnerships during a press interview with The National newspaper. He presented a unique project that seeks the collaboration of all involved countries in the path of development.
He stated that the confusion in Iraq due to ISIS control greatly impacted the region, leading to millions of people emigrating. Therefore, it is important to maintain Iraq’s stability. He also noted that political disputes in Iraq are normal, and seeking resolution through the Federal Court is a positive sign for the political system.
He stated that currently, all political parties are prioritizing the provision of services and the development of the economy, shifting their focus from sectarianism, ethnicity, and other divisive factors. He also highlighted that over 300 registered parties will be participating in the upcoming local elections, indicating a positive sign of stability.
During his speech, the Prime Minister highlighted the significance of the Social Protection Law in tackling multidimensional poverty. He announced that a budget of $4 billion has been allocated for 2023 to address poverty, and mentioned the provision of cash subsidies to school and college students, as well as children from poor families, to prevent the perpetuation of poverty within families. He also emphasized that ration cards are distributed to all citizens, with a better quality card provided to those covered by the social protection network.
During a recent meeting, it was noted that the allocated budget for poverty treatments over the next three years has the potential to significantly reduce poverty rates in Iraq within a five-year timeframe. The private sector is seen as a crucial source of support and various decisions in its favor have been made during Council of Ministers and Ministerial Council for the Economy sessions.
He stated that there is a battle against corruption, and they have implemented a comprehensive policy to combat it. This policy includes the recovery of funds and arresting wanted individuals. Additionally, they are reforming tax, customs, and electronic payment systems to create an environment that is favorable to the private sector and makes their work easier.
According to his statement, the value of the dollar is influenced by reforms in the banking and financial sector. Despite their social cost, the government has begun implementing these reforms to stabilize transactions. The fluctuations in exchange rates are a result of a battle between the state, which aims to stabilize transactions, and a group that used to rely on the dollar. He pointed out that illegal outlets receive goods without paying taxes, which contributes to the parallel price. Additionally, private banks acquire dollars from the central bank and sell them in the parallel market, which could lead to sanctions.
He emphasized that Iraq has been at the forefront of bringing together diverse perspectives in the region. The development road project is the most efficient and cost-effective proposal for trade between Asia and Europe. It has succeeded in its goal and continues to do so.
According to the Prime Minister, it is better to have Syria with its current political system and people than to risk an unknown alternative that could lead to a second war with ISIS. Any security issues in Syria could also lead to an increase in terrorist activity and threaten the safety of Iraq and the surrounding region.
According to his statement, a human rights specialist has been assigned to monitor the situation since the beginning. Some investigations require compliance with the law, and no individual is being held in custody without a court order. He emphasized that ISIS is no longer a danger to Iraq, and there is no longer a need for the international coalition established to combat ISIS.
He mentioned that this month the joint committee will have a meeting with the American side. He emphasized the importance of the bilateral relationship with the United States for security cooperation, and stated that they are open to collaboration in all fields.
Regarding terrorists, he stated that the harshest punishment given to them is the death penalty. In order for the death penalty to be executed, each case goes through an average of 45 judges. Amnesty laws have provided the opportunity to retry all criminals, including those sentenced to death. According to Iraqi law, guarantees are provided for seven days in cases where the convict has the right to a retrial.
He mentioned that the government has faith in their policies and plans. The Baghdad conference is expected to grow with the attendance of representatives from the UK, Germany, Spain, and Italy, who have expressed interest in taking part.
According to him, early elections were called after the House of Representatives dissolved itself. The government is prepared for elections, and political parties trust the government.
The Prime Minister expressed support for peaceful demonstrations and committed to responsible handling within legal boundaries.