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The New Arab

Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi to reveal new cabinet shortly

Prime Minister Abadi has come under pressure to roll out sweeping reforms [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 March, 2016

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After huge protests in Baghdad calling for major government reforms, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on Twitter that he will reveal a new cabinet shortly.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said that a cabinet reshuffle will be announced shortly.

The Dawa Party leader made the announcement on Twitter, and comes as the prime minister faces mounting pressure from populist Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to introduce reforms in government.

"We will carry out the fundamental cabinet reshuffle soon. We will propose the names of professional and competent ministers to occupy the posts covered by the reshuffle," he said on Twitter.

Iraqi cleric Sadr has threatened to storm Baghdad's Green Zone - which houses Iraq's political and diplomatic quarters - unless Abadi sacks unpopular ministers and replaces them with a technocratic government.

Wednesday saw large anti-government protests outside the Green Zone, heightening fears that crowds might surge through the secured area.
"We will carry out the fundamental cabinet reshuffle soon. We will propose
the names of professional and competent ministers to occupy the posts
covered by the reshuffle."

On 12 February, Sadr gave Abadi a 45 day ultimatum to respond to his demand.

Abadi replaced unpopular former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in September 2014 after the Islamic State group routed the Iraqi army in large parts of northern Iraq.

Unlike his predecessor, Abadi has sought a more inclusive form of government and attempted to propel more disenfranchised Sunnis into leading cabinet positions.

He also promised a crackdown on corruption in the country, and after a summer of protests and implemented some reforms.

But critics say Abadi has not gone fair enough, and is believed to have come under pressure from powerful internal and external forces not to bring politicians to justice.

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