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Iraq electricity minister fired over $1.7B deals

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s deputy prime minister says the country’s electricity minister has been fired after signing two deals worth $1.7 billion without following the proper government guidelines.

Hussain al-Shahristani told The Associated Press on Sunday that Electricity Minister Raad Shalal signed the deals to supply and install power plants with two Canadian and German companies instead of dealing directly with the manufacturers. Neither one of the companies qualifies as a manufacturer.

A Cabinet official said Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s decree will be sent to parliament for approval. The official said an investigation is under way to determine whether there was any criminal wrongdoing. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media on the details.

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