Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi is seeking a cabinet reshuffle away from political blocs, taking advantage of the pressure of the Iraqi street demanding change and reforms. Meanwhile, the protest forces confirmed that such reshuffle is to anesthetise the people’s will, as influential political blocs will only determine the alternatives.
Abdul-Mahdi said in a speech on Wednesday evening that he would ask the parliament to vote on a cabinet reshuffle during on Thursday, without disclosing the most prominent ministers to be replaced. However, sources from the Iraqi government confirmed to the New Arab that the most notable amendments proposed by the Prime Minister would be the selection of an education minister and find a substitute for former Health Minister, Ala Al-Alwan, in addition to exempting two ministers, who are likely to be ministers of Communications and Agriculture. Yet, consultations about the ministers of Industry, Electricity and Transport are underway between Abdul-Mahdi and political blocs to which the ministers intended to be sacked belong.
This comes at the same time as preparations for mass popular demonstrations in Baghdad and several southern cities on Friday, voicing the same demands, while confirming what activists described as distrust of the government’s promises and decisions, and calling to hold those involved in killing demonstrators accountable.
The leader of the Salvation and Development Front, Atheel Al-Nujaifi, told The New Arab that “the reshuffle is the least of what the government can do to satisfy the people, i.e. a method to absorb the growing resentment of the cabinet and the calls for the dismissal of the entire government, as some ministers have been involved in corruption or other suspicious activities