No Electioneering on Power Shortages

The Ministry of Electricity has warned parliamentary candidates against using lofty promises for the provision of power supplies as part of their campaigning.

Iraq is to hold elections on March 7. More than 6,500 are contesting the 325-seat parliament.

Nominated by 86 parties, competition is tough and some candidates are reported to be giving “unrealistic” promises regarding power supplies.

Electricity shortages may still last up to 20 hours in major cities and the country’s power output is so erratic that future predictions are almost impossible.

“This is a highly specialized sector in need of immense requirements. It cannot be used for electioneering purposes,” said an Electricity Ministry statement faxed to the newspaper.

“We are surprised to see some of our brother politicians talking about the provision of power supplies through investments without taking into account the reality of the situation.

“These politicians have not asked themselves if they have done the right thing by supporting the ministry to overcome the difficulties it is facing and assisting it to increase output,” said the statement.

The statement said in theory investments in power was massive. But in reality, it added, the conditions were not lucrative enough to lure foreign investors.

Instead of talking about things which are unrealistic, the politicians should work hard to provide the ministry’s power stations with fuel and water and increase allocations, it said.

Despite the difficult conditions, the ministry has been able to boost output to 43% from28% of domestic needs, it claimed.

(Azzaman)

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