Accessibility links

Iraqi Parliament Approves Partial Cabinet Reshuffle

The Iraqi parliament has approved a partial reshuffle of the country's cabinet as proposed by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.

The controversial vote on April 26 came amid mounting public pressure led by mass protests headed by Shi'ite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in central Baghdad.

The anticorruption protests have been held for months in an effort to force the government to undertake reforms and replace officials viewed as corrupt.

Parliament spokesman Emad al-Khafaji told the AP news agency that lawmakers approved the new heads of six ministries: health, labor and social affairs, water resources, electricity, higher education, and culture.

Abadi proposed last month to reduce the number of government ministers to 16 from the previous 21 and submitted the names of independent "technocrats" for 14 cabinet positions.

He said he would not yet replace the defense and interior ministers because of Iraq's security problems.

But Abadi's plans have been opposed by the country's established political blocs and dozens of lawmakers who are demanding that the prime minister and other top officials resign.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP