Iraq and Kurdistan leaders summoned by parliaments

13 March 2011

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Barham Salih discuss protests

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has promised to dismiss unqualified ministers according to the National Iraqi News Agency (NINA).

Parliament called on Al-Maliki to discuss protester demands on 10 March. The Prime Minister stressed that the demands of the people need to be met immediately. He blamed parliament for failing to distribute jobs fairly across ministries in the 2011 budget, which was approved on 20 February.

Out of 325 members of parliament, 280 attended the session.

On the same day, the Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Barham Salih was summoned by the parliament to explain the increasingly violent demonstrations in Suleimaniyah where protesters have camped out demanding the resignation of KRG President Massoud Barzani.

Iraq’s Day of Rage took place on 25 February where 25,000 protesters demonstrated in more than 40 cities. Some of the protests turned violent resulting in the death of 12 civilians and more than 100 inured. Iraqi Security Forces detained and beat Iraqi journalists and on 6 March, Kurdish security forces attacked two radio stations and one television station.

The US Embassy in Baghdad condemned the attacks on media organisations and journalists and called on the governments to investigate the incidents and punish the perpetrators.

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