Iraq parliament impeaches defence minister

Iraqi lawmakers have voted to impeach Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi over corruption allegations.
Iraqi lawmakers have voted to impeach Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi over corruption allegations. PHOTO: REUTERS

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi lawmakers on Thursday (Aug 25) voted to impeach Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi over corruption allegations, Members of Parliament said.

Dr Obeidi lost a no-confidence vote by 142 votes to 102 in a secret ballot, while 18 abstained, two MPs told AFP.

The no-confidence vote removes one of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's key Sunni allies from government and comes as Iraqi forces ramp up preparations for an offensive against Mosul, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group's last major stronghold in the country.

The shock impeachment is the latest development in a bitter feud that erupted earlier this month between Dr Obeidi and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Juburi, the highest-ranking Sunni politician in Iraq.

Dr Obeidi was questioned in parliament over corruption allegations to which he answered with accusations of his own implicating Dr Juburi and several MPs.

Dr Juburi moved quickly and agreed to have his immunity lifted so that he could be investigated, only for a special integrity court to drop the case hours later.