Groups demand Iraqi lawmakers return salaries

November 6, 2010 14:02

BAGHDAD — A coalition of Iraqi human rights groups has filed a lawsuit to try to force lawmakers to return salaries they received during parliament's five-month recess.

The 325 lawmakers have met only once since they were elected in March. That session, in June, lasted 20 minutes. The legislators were sworn in and collected a $90,000 stipend. They also drew about $22,500 a month in salary and allowances for housing and security.The head of one of the rights groups, Hana Adwar, says they have asked the Baghdad District Court to order the lawmakers to return what she says are "high salaries for doing nothing."

The March 7 national election failed to produce a clear winner, and divisions among political blocs have prevented the formation of a new government.

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