Lawmakers in Iraq have approved five new government ministers following months of delay and unrest.
Parliament on August 15 approved Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s nominees for ministers of oil, transport, higher education, housing and construction, and water resources. Lawmakers, however, rejected the candidate to head the trade ministry.
Abadi in February announced his intention to fill the government with technocrats, but he met stiff resistance from parliamentary parties who expected political appointees.
Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr organized repeated mass protests to support Abadi’s proposal and to push for even further reforms.
On several occasions, those protests breached Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone and demonstrators stormed parliament and other government buildings.