Iraq: PM al-Abadi presents new cabinet just in time for deadline

Iraq: PM al-Abadi presents new cabinet just in time for deadline
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Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has presented a new cabinet to parliament, just in time for the March 31 deadline.

Parliament will vote on the proposal on Saturday (April 2), according to state television.

Iraqi media report no major positions will change hands, although the cabinet will be reduced to from 24 to 16 ministers if the plan is given the go-ahead.

Fourteen names were presented. For security reasons, the names of the proposed Interior and Defence Ministers were not made public, reports suggest.

Supporters of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have been calling for government reforms for more than a month and have been staging a sit-in outside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone for over a week.

Sadr entered the government district on March 27. He has consistently pushed the prime minister to tackle corruption and form a technocratic government.

However, al-Abadi has so far struggled to convince leaders from his political bloc to resign from their posts.

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