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Prime Minister Abadi presents new Iraqi cabinet lineup



Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq has presented a list with the names of candidates for ministries as he works up a new cabinet lineup.

“He presented a list with the names of candidates for ministries and their CVs who were chosen by a special committee of experts on the basis of professionalism, competence, integrity and leadership,” said a statement on the website of the Iraqi premier on Thursday.

Abadi named Nizar Salem al-Numan as a candidate for oil minister as part of the cabinet reshuffle aimed at combating corruption, state television said.

The premier also named prominent politician Ali Allawi for the post of finance minister and tagged Sharif Ali bin al-Hussein for foreign minister, the report added.

Iraqis have been protesting against corruption over the past months calling for reforms. The administration of Abadi has failed to deliver on its reform promises.

The number of ministers that would be affected by the reshuffle is not clear yet.

The Iraqi parliament must vote on any change of the cabinet lineup.

The parliament, however, postponed its session for that matter until April 2. It had been expected to reconvene later on Thursday. Lawmakers appear divided on the reshuffle, as a number of parliamentarians have called for changes to all ministries and others only urge a partial change.

Iraqi women take part in a protest outside Baghdad’s fortified “Green Zone” on March, 30, 2016, calling on the prime minister for reforms tackling corruption and to announce a technocratic government to replace the current cabinet of ministers. (AFP Photo)

On March 29, senior Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr met with Abadi ahead of a deadline set for the premier to enact political reforms.

The parliament voted on March 28 to give Abadi a three-day deadline by which to present his new government or face a vote of no-confidence.

Sadr began a promised sit-in inside Baghdad’s Green Zone on March 27, vowing to continue the protest action until the government fulfills its pledges for reforms.

He joined his followers at the gates of the area, which is home to many government offices as well as the parliament and foreign embassies.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is currently the secretary general of the Islamic Dawa Party, has reportedly expressed his conditional support for the reshuffle if the changes do not affect less than nine ministries. Otherwise, he has stated, the party will not take part in the parliament vote for the reshuffle.

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