Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki gave his ministers 100 days on 27 February to improve or face dismissal as protesters demanded an end to corruption on Friday 25 February.

According to a statement issued from his office: “Mr Al-Maliki specified a 100-day period after which an assessment of the work of the government and ministries will be carried out to find out the level of their individual success or failure in performing their jobs.”

About 10,000 people took to the streets throughout the country demanding better public services, more jobs and an end to corruption. Three regional governors resigned over the weekend, bowing to the pressures from demonstrators.

Violence broke out with reports of 16 deaths and 130 wounded. The army tried to intimidate protesters with helicopters and water bombs.

Maliki addressed the nation on Thursday 24 February urging the people not to demonstrate, fearing Al-Qaeda and Baathist supporters would hijack the protests. The government issued a ban on vehicles in Baghdad, preventing many from reaching the city’s Tahrir Square, where 5,000 protesters were gathered.  

Protesters have called another ‘Day of Rage’ on 4 March to mark a year since the elections that resulted in a nine-month political deadlock.