Iraqi parliament sacks governor after deadly ferry sinking
March 24 2019 05:23 PM
Nofal al-Akoub
Nofal al-Akoub

Dpa/Baghdad

The Iraqi parliament on Sunday voted to sack a provincial governor over alleged corruption and negligence, days after a ferry boat sank near the northern city of Mosul, killing more than 100 people.

The move comes in response to a request to parliament by Prime Minister Abdel Abdel-Mahdi that the governor of the northern province of Nineveh be removed after Thursday's tragedy.

The legislature voted to dismiss governor Nofal al-Akoub and two deputies, parliamentary sources told dpa.

On Thursday, a boat carrying people celebrating Nowruz, which marks the Kurdish New Year, capsized in the Tigris River near Mosul, the the capital city of Nineveh.

At least 110 people were killed in the accident, according to official figures.

The parliament Sunday also agreed to consider the dead victims ‘martyrs,’ a designation enabling their families to receive state financial compensation, the sources said.

The tragedy, believed to be the result of the ship being overcrowded, triggered public fury amid accusations of negligence against local authorities in Nineveh.

On Friday, angry protesters assailed al-Akoub's convoy and prevented it from reaching the site of the disaster, witnesses said.

The ferry sinking has prompted calls for tougher action against alleged corruption and mismanagement.

‘We will expose corruption in Nineveh and refer the wrongdoers to the judiciary,’ Nayaf al-Shammari, a lawmaker representing Nineveh in parliament, said on Sunday.

‘Corruption now in the province is more dangerous than Daesh,’ he added in remarks to the media, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State militant group that once had a territorial foothold in Iraq.

‘The ferry tragedy will be the launchpad for eliminating corruption,’ al-Shammari said.

Mosul was the key stronghold of Islamic State in Iraq.

In July 2017, Iraq declared that all Mosul had been retaken from the radical group after a devastating nine-month campaign.



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