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Iraqi PM Scraps 11 Cabinet Posts In Reform Drive

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has scrapped 11 cabinet posts as part of a sweeping reform program aimed at reducing corruption and mismanagement impacting the highest levels of government.

Abadi’s office said in an August 16 statement that he had ordered an immediate reduction in the number of ministers from 33 to 22.

The cuts included three deputy premier positions and four ministries, as well as the merger of four more ministries with others.

The move eliminates the Human Rights Ministry, the Ministry of State for Women's Affairs, the Ministry of State for Provincial and Parliamentary Affairs, and a third ministry of state.

It merges the Ministry of Science and Technology with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and the Health Ministry with the Ministry of Environment.

Under the directive, Iraq’s Ministry for Municipalities will be combined with the Ministry of Construction and Housing, while the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities will merge with the Culture Ministry.

Abadi unveiled a plan for reforms on August 9 with the goal of reducing corruption, streamlining the government, and improving government services.

Amid a punishing heatwave, Iraq has been hit by protests against the poor quality of services, in particular power outages.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters