Iraq parliament backs PM’S reforms

Baghdad, Aug 11 (IANS) The Iraqi parliament on Tuesday unanimously approved wide-ranging measures, including administrative reforms to wipe out corruption and easing of sectarian tensions.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi issued a decree on August 9 abolishing the posts of vice president and deputy prime minister in the government, in response to one of the demands voiced in countrywide anti-government demonstrations over poor living conditions, including electricity cuts and water quality.

As a result of the reforms, senior political appointments will no longer be based on sectarian or party quotas, and the posts of vice-president and deputy prime minister will be abolished, BBC reported.

Abadi’s plan also includes a requirement for a number of government positions to be filled with political independents – a move aimed at cracking down on corruption.

The changes come after weeks of protests by angry civilians over the way the country is governed and at the lack of investment in infrastructure.

In some areas of Iraq it is common to have only a few hours of electricity each day. Frequent power cuts have made the sweltering conditions even more unbearable.

Many Iraqis have cautiously welcomed the passing of the reform package.

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