Iraqi cabinet could be reshuffled under pressure

Iraqi cabinet could be reshuffled under pressure
Posted at 9:54 AM, Apr 26, 2016

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's parliament has endorsed a partial Cabinet reshuffle proposed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, bowing to mounting public pressure for reform, including mass protests led by an influential Shiite cleric.

Parliament spokesman Emad al-Khafaji says lawmakers approved nominees for six ministries: health, labor and social affairs; water resources; electricity; higher education and culture.

Al-Khafaji says al-Abadi has until Thursday to submit other names.

Thousands of followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr had earlier massed outside the capital's heavily fortified Green Zone, calling for political reform and an end to corruption. Separately, dozens of lawmakers calling for the ouster of al-Abadi, the parliament speaker and the president had interrupted the parliamentary session.

In August, al-Abadi proposed a sweeping reform package to combat corruption, cut government spending and merge ministries, but his efforts have been stymied by the country's main political blocs.