Provincial Council member Hossam Aboul Heil condemned Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi's surprise visit to Basra, saying it is unacceptable and will not help
serve the interests of the people of the province.
"Abd al-Mahdi's visit was no secret or surprise, he told the governmental officials before he drops by," Aboul Heil said, describing the visit that it serves Abd al-Mahdi's self-interest.
Many issues have been addressed by the committees of the provincial council, including the struggle of Basra people to get the basic services, Aboul Heil said, adding that Abd al-Mahdi needs to review these issues.
Iraq’s second city has been rocked by demonstrations in which government offices, including the main provincial council building, have been ransacked and set alight by protesters angry about corruption.
Unrest first erupted in July over poor government services but intensified in September before dwindling in recent months.
Residents in Basra say they have been driven onto the streets by corruption and misrule that have allowed infrastructure to collapse, leaving no power or safe drinking water.
In late December, Iraqi security forces used live bullets and teargas to disperse protesters who were trying to storm the local government building in the province.