Iraqi parliament sets deadline for new cabinet

Baghdad, March 28 (IANS) Iraq’s parliament on Monday gave Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi until Thursday to present candidates for a new cabinet line-up.

The ultimatum is seen as part of proposed anti-corruption reforms aimed at confronting the country’s economic crisis, Xinhua news agency quoted state-run Iraqiya channel as saying.

In a statement, the lawmakers set Thursday as the “final deadline” for Abadi to present his cabinet for parliament approval.

If Abadi misses the deadline, the statement warned, parliament will “interpellate” him early next week, the channel said.

The move comes a day after Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stepped up pressure on Abadi by starting a sit-in protest inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the main government offices and some foreign embassies.

Thousands of Sadr’s followers have been camping in an anti-corruption sit-in outside the gates for over a week.

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