By Amir al-Hassani
BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraqi lawmakers of the southern oil-rich Basra province said on Sunday they will vote against the new government, unless a plan to resolve civic problems of the province is drafted.
Some 25 Iraqi MPs represent the province in the 329-seat parliament.
The lawmakers will watch closely a cabinet meeting on Tuesday for any resolutions on the problems, including lack of clean drinking water, said MP Faleh Al- Khazali during a news conference in Basra.
If Basra is deprived of its rights they would launch a sit-in and vote against the government, he added.
Despite forming a majority bloc, the government is still seeking support from smaller groups.
MP Zahra al-Bajari criticized the health minister for not recognizing the symptoms of poisoning among residents due to pollution during a recent visit.
On Friday, Ahmed al-Sulaiti, spokesman of Basra Provincial Council, said rising water pollution was causing poisoning among residents.
Basra accounts for roughly 80 percent of the country’s total oil production.
Since July 9, the province as well as other southern and central Shia-majority provinces have witnessed ongoing popular protests which have spread to capital Baghdad.
Demonstrators demand improved public services like water and electricity, more job opportunities and an end to perceived government corruption.
The formation of a new government in Iraq has been delayed since May, when the results of the parliamentary elections were fiercely disputed, leading to a recount of votes.