Weekly demonstrations in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad appear to be coming to an end, with top Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr announcing that he is ending his sit in, after Prime Minister Hayder Abadi met demands to announce a new cabinet full of technocrats.
Abadi met with parliament today, providing a 14 candidate list for the new cabinet, pending approval from parliament. The key positions see Ali Allawi, the former Finance Minister from 2005-06, returning to that position, with would-be King of Iraq Sharif Ali bin al-Hussein as the Foreign Minister.
The list meets demands from a number of MPs and political factions to see the cabinet’s size reduced, from 22 to 16. Abadi offered no new candidate for Defense Ministry or Interior Ministry, citing “security reasons.” That leaves Khaled al-Obeidi and Mohammed al-Ghabban, respectively, in those positions.
With its economy suffering from low oil prices, widespread corruption that has been a problem for years became much more glaring, and has increased pressure for Abadi to follow through on pledges to do something about it. He’d been ordered to name this new cabinet this week, and was threatened with a vote of no confidence if he failed. It still remains to be seen if his cabinet will satisfy a parliament increasingly dissatisfied with him.
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