Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday he was cancelling the positions of advisers hired as contractors in ministries and limiting the number of advisers for himself, the president, and the parliamentary speaker to five each.

It was not immediately clear how many positions would be affected by the decision, which was announced in a post on Facebook.

Abadi sacked a third of his cabinet on Sunday, reducing the number of ministers to 22 by eliminating positions or combining some ministries with others.

He moved earlier to eliminate the three vice president positions, cut politicians’ security details and other perks, encourage corruption investigations and give himself the power to fire provincial governors and regional officials.

The sackings are the latest in a sweeping reform campaign launched last week aimed at reducing graft and incompetence in government, which critics say have deprived Iraqis of basic services while undermining government forces in their battle against the Takfiri group, ISIL (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant).

Last week, the Iraqi parliament unanimously approved the PM’S reform program aimed at curbing corruption.

The plan came after thousands of Iraqis turned out in Baghdad and various cities in the south to put pressure on the authorities to make changes.

Protestors’ demands were given a boost on Friday when Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali al-Sistani, who is revered by millions, called for Abadi to take “drastic measures” against corruption, saying that the “minor steps” he had announced were not enough.

 

AFP

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