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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08BASRAH60 2008-06-17 17:59:00 CONFIDENTIAL REO Basrah
Cable title:  

BASRAH'S DEPUTY GOVERNOR COMPLAINS ABOUT GOVERNOR

Tags:   PGOV ECON IZ 
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VZCZCXRO1557 
RR RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK 
DE RUEHBC #0060 1691759 
ZNY CCCCC ZZH 
R 171759Z JUN 08 
FM REO BASRAH 
TO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0355 
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0772 
INFO RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC 
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC 
RHEFDHP/DIA DHP-1 WASHINGTON DC 
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC 
RUEPGAB/MNF-I C2X BAGHDAD IZ 
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE 
RUEHBC/REO BASRAH 0809
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L BASRAH 000060 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 6/17/2018
TAGS: PGOV ECON IZ
SUBJECT: BASRAH'S DEPUTY GOVERNOR COMPLAINS ABOUT GOVERNOR

REF: A. 07 BASRAH 101 B. 07 BASRAH 110 C. 07 BASRAH 70

CLASSIFIED BY: Won Lee, A/Director, U.S. Regional Embassy
Office, Basrah, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)




1. (C/REL MCFI) SUMMARY: Luai Abdul Amir Abbass al-Battat
(Future of Iraq Assembly), Basrah's deputy governor, complained
June 15 to the Regional Embassy Office (REO) that Governor
Muhammed Musbeh Wa'eli (Fadhila Party) has sidelined Luai and
used his influence to place his own supporters in key positions.
By eliminating any opposition Wa'eli is able to skim money from
the provincial budget. Luai ruminated that Fadhila will not run
Wa'eli in upcoming provincial elections and is moving him to
Fadhila's politburo in Baghdad, but its doubtful Wa'eli will
leave. Luai's comments are mostly born of his political
impotence, but illustrate how powerful Wa'eli is and the need to
emphasize anti-corruption efforts in Basrah. End Summary.



2. (C/REL MCFI) Basrah's deputy governor, Luai al-Battat,
complained June 15 to REO Poloff that the governor has sidelined
him throughout their tenure. According to Luai, Governor
Mohammed Wa'eli appropriated much of Luai's own portfolio
(especially on financial matters) and has placed limitations on
Luai's ability to function as an acting governor when Wa'eli is
out of town. Luai also complained that Wa'eli uses his position
- backed up by Fadhila's militia - to move the governor's
supporters into key civil service and police positions. Despite
the fact that only Minister of Municipalities Riyad Ghurayyib
can transfer Director Generals (DG), Wa'eli succeeded in
replacing the DG for Human Resources, the DG for Sewers and the
head of the Office of Inspections. Luai argued that by having
his own men in key positions, the governor is able to manipulate
the contracting process with impunity and skims ten percent off
each project (ref A).



3. (C/REL MCFI) Luai said he had complained to Fadhila's local
and national leadership about Wa'eli's treatment of him and
alleged abuse of authority, but received unsympathetic
responses. He added that Wa'eli was viewed as too corrupt for
Fadhila to run him again in provincial elections, but brought
too much to the table (guns and money) to be dropped. Instead,
Luai claimed that Fadhila is going make Wa'eli a politburo
member in Baghdad.



4. (C/REL MCFI) COMMENT: The governor and his deputy have had an
adversarial relationship ever since they were elected in 2005.
In retaliation for Wa'eli's treatment of him, Luai aided Islamic
Supreme Council in Iraq (ISCI)/Badr's failed attempts to remove
Wa'eli from office ref B-C). Their mutual ill feelings,
however, have done little to disrupt Basrah's governance, as the
larger security problems and the ISCI/Badr vs. Fadhila gridlock
in the provincial council made their gubernatorial disputes seem
trivial.



5. (C/REL MCFI) Luai's comments were mostly sour grapes. He has
never been a powerful figure in Basrawi politics coming from the
minor Future of Iraq Assembly party, and he was selected as the
deputy governor because other provincial council members did not
view him as a threat. Luai did not tell us anything new about
Wa'eli. And its doubtful that Wa'eli will move from Basrah for a
Fadhila position elsewhere; Wa'eli's business interests, oil
smuggling network, and family are in Basrah. But, Luai's remarks
illustrate how powerful Wa'eli is, how perceptions of Wa'eli's
corruption may hurt Fadhila in future elections, the ease of
manipulating provincial budgets and why anti-corruption efforts
need to be emphasized. End Comment.

WLEE