MP explains rationale behind the decision

Iraqi Parliament Committee suspends service projects until provincial council elections

BAGHDAD, October 30 — The Services and Reconstruction Committee in the Iraqi Parliament has announced the suspension of all service projects until the provincial council elections aon December 18.

The decision covers all construction projects aside from eight bridges currently under development between the Karkh and Rusafa areas in Baghdad.

Baqer Al-Saadi, the head of the Roads and Bridges Committee, explained that the capital and other governorates are awaiting a package of projects at the beginning of 2024, and that the timing was intentional to avoid having candidates use the infrastructure projects to attract local voters.

Construction on the eight bridges spanning the Tigris River will continue as part of a government initiative aimed at relieving traffic congestion.

Al-Saadi noted, “There are many projects allocated in the budget, and with the elections approaching, all procedures related to these important projects have been halted until the elections are over, to prevent their misuse in party campaigns.”

Al-Saadi clarified that “the Services Committee is monitoring and overseeing this matter, as we do not want budget funds to be used in the elections.” According to him, there are 370 projects that have not been implemented yet.

“These projects will be handed over to the new governors after the elections,” he added.