Iraq: May 31, 2004


The Iraqi Governing Council missed their deadline for appointing new ministers to run the country until the elections can be held later in the year, or early in 2005. The disputes over candidates for these positions reflect not only religious and regional loyalties, but also money. Some of the candidates are more corrupt than others and the degree to which a candidate is likely to steal does matter. Corruption is, and has always been, widespread in Iraq. But it is also generally reviled by the people. It's like a bad habit that that Iraqi society cannot quit. The coalition administrators see the temporary Iraqi government as an opportunity to get honest Iraqis into senior jobs that have traditionally been filled by corrupt officials. However, it is not considered polite to come right out and say one candidate or another is unsuitable because he, or she, is too corrupt. Moreover, some corrupt officials are also quite effective, being able to make things happen more effectively than less corrupt colleagues. 


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