After Iraq, under the reign of former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, largely folded the page of the terrorist organization ISIS, now in the era of Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the current prime minister, faces a fierce battle no less important than the battles against the terrorist organization ISIS, the battle to liberate Iraq from corruption in all forms. Because this battle is the battle to preserve the Iraqi state, it is not possible for the state and its institutions to continue and corruption gnawing at them, the presence of corruption does not make sense to the values of justice and citizenship. Therefore, Adel Abdul Mahdi, awaiting him many files of financial and administrative corruption, where the fight against corruption and the initiation of transparent investigations with those involved in it to become a major popular demand in the demonstrations in southern Iraq, especially Basra. This coincided with reports of the loss of Iraq, as a result of financial corruption.
The Integrity Commission in Iraq stressed, in 2016, that the losses of Iraq in the post-2003 – the result of administrative and financial corruption – amounted to about 800 billion dollars, and described this result as catastrophic among the countries of the world. It considered General Secretariat of the Council of ministers the most dangerous focus of corruption and the Ministry of Defense is ranked among the top ministries in this field. Iraq is ranked 161th on the Transparency International Corruption Index, which includes 168 countries, but he faces resistance from most sectors of the political elite. The Commission on Integrity in the Iraqi Council of Representatives announced the existence of about 13 thousand files of corruption that had not been resolved since 2003 until now. A member of the Integrity Committee Sabah al-Ukaili said in a statement that «13 thousand files have been disabled since 2003 and it is time to re-open and follow-up with the executive bodies and the disclosure of entities and personalities convicted of corruption issues whatever their party affiliation». He added that «the priorities of our work during the next phase to open all these files without fear or political courtesy at the expense of stealing our people», adding to «the existence of problems and pressures facing our work in the Committee».
The battle against corruption in Iraq involves great risks, because those involved are the leaders of the political and security scene in Iraq, including prominent political leaders with armed followers and wings, which makes confronting it a minefield that everyone avoids , and it has come to be said that confronting it all means destroying the political process in Iraq completely . Even the “reforms” project launched by former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on fighting corruption and holding accountable those involved in the fall of Mosul in the hands of the “Da’ash” organization, including Nuri al-Maliki, in 2014, have not borne fruit. They ended without any result, despite the demonstrations which supported Abbadi, in addition to the support of the leader of the Sadrist movement, Moqtada al-Sadr, a rival to al-Maliki and a bitter enemy, because of the control of Maliki and his party, “al-Daawa” on state institutions, including the judiciary. The same applies to the files of arming Iraqi forces with corrupt weapons, and the deals of former Health Minister Adelah Hammoud on what was known a year ago as the “Malaysian shoe deal”, and the smuggling of six billion dollars from Iraq by an official, noting that Hoshyar Zebari , former Iraqi minister of finance ,did not disclose about his name in an press interview, which sparking dissatisfaction with Iraqi public opinion because the minister did not mention the name of the official, especially that a cabinet minister should have knowledge of him and his story .
However, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has vowed to fight corruption this year and deal with the corrupt as no less dangerous than the organization of ISIS. Abdul Mahdi said at the first meeting of the Supreme Council for Combating Corruption “The aim of the Supreme Council for Combating Corruption is to enable it to take deterrent measures and unify the efforts of regulators in a new work context capable of confronting any body or person whatever its position and acting as a state in the country to disclose corruption and protect society, citizens and public money alike ». Adel Abdul Mahdi said that «this action comes in implementation of what we pledged in our government platform, which was ratified by the House of Representatives and became the duty of implementation», indicating that «in front of that the Supreme Council to combat corruption must enjoy with sufficient administrative and legal powers to control the file of corruption and knowing places of imbalance in follow-up and implementation ». He also stressed the need to “go on one path in order to achieve clear outcomes and prevent the severe damage that is shaking the image of the state and society and the reputation of citizens in general, and must be put an end to this decline and consider corruption as an enemy such as the terrorist gang ISIS.
Observers believe that Adel Abdul Mahdi was hesitant during the past period to take decisions that raise political forces, and took into account the political balances in his government. However, he decided to fight corruption. If he has the power to open and hold accountable one official, he will have the support of the Iraqi Council of Representatives and the support of the Iraqi people. they added Abadi had previously spoken about the Supreme Council for Combating Corruption and then relied on a group of experts, but the political will was not present to do what was necessary to beat the corrupt, especially the files were ready and completed by the judiciary, which need a decision to announce the names of those involved and accountability, in addition to party interventions and pressures that hampered the work of the Council. They pointed out that “the restructuring of the work of the Council and the selection of honest members by Abdul Mahdi, and not through the parties, it shows that his powers will be stronger, as it is time to move all files, not to accuse a certain party and remove the suspicion of another.
There is no doubt that the face of corruption by Adil Abdul Mahdi will be a very difficult confrontation because this corruption is linked to the lobbies that control the joints of the Iraqi state, and associated with influential parties and militias, in addition to the obstacle of the “deep state” of a party and its allies, some of which may work on the failure of it and failure to responding to it. It is a complex confrontation with a deep state, rampant corruption and a fragile economy.
However, Adil Abdul Mahdi, the Iraqi national stature, who emphasizes the need to return Iraq as a center of civilization, science and knowledge because it possess the characteristics and bases of the advancement. And that crises should be a motive for the creation of solutions similar to the experiences of successful countries that emerged from wars more powerful, and had acted for the service of humanity by its inventions and technology provided to the world, and that inventions and discoveries are indicators of the progress of nations to achieve a breakthrough and the transition from one case to the case, he will not hesitate to eradicate financial and administrative corruption just like the eradication the terrorist ISIS from the land of Iraq.
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies