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Iraqi President intends to hold a conference to discuss the amendment of the Constitution

Baghdad (Iraq) / Ibrahim Saleh / Anatolia

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi President Barham Saleh said on Wednesday he intended to hold a national conference to discuss amending the constitution in a bid to reform the country.

Saleh's speech came during a meeting with his office in Baghdad, a number of tribal elders and tribes central and south of the country, according to a statement of the Iraqi presidency, seen by Anatolia.

Saleh said that a national conference would be held under his auspices to review the constitution and its paragraphs, without mentioning the date or the articles to be reviewed.

Iraq approved the current constitution in 2005, following the fall of the former regime led by Saddam Hussein, by international forces led by the United States in 2003.

These intentions are part of the efforts of state officials to reform the situation in the wake of violent protests that swept the country for a week, in early October.

The protesters demanded the dismissal of the government and reforms including improving public services, creating jobs and fighting corruption.

The protests have been repressed by the government, leaving dozens dead and thousands injured.

"The constitution guarantees the right to demonstrate, preserve civil peace and the safety of protesters, and protect public and private property," he said. "The state should punish those involved by firing at demonstrations and bring them to justice to receive their just punishment."

He pointed to "the importance of a fundamental and serious reform in building the state and its institution"?

He stressed that "existing corruption is the basis of scourge, and did not come from a vacuum but came because of violence, terrorism, war and siege."

Iraq is among the world's most corrupt countries over the past years, according to the Transparency International index.

Financial and administrative corruption has undermined the institutions of the Iraqi state, whose population still complains of a lack of public services such as electricity, health, education and other services, although the country receives tens of billions of dollars a year from the sale of oil.