• Iraq’s cabinet will be reduced from 33 members to 22
  • Four ministries will be eliminated and others will be consolidated
  • Overhaul comes after widespread protests

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered his cabinet to be reduced by a third as part of an overhaul he says is designed to reduce government spending and stamp out corruption.

Iraq’s cabinet will be reduced from 33 members to 22.

The decision, which was announced by Al-Abadi’s office on 16 August, will remove four ministries and consolidate others.

The eliminated ministries include the ministry of human rights and the ministry of women’s affairs.

The premier outlined a seven-point reform plan earlier in August, which secured parliamentary approval last week.

The reforms proposed in the plan include the abolishment of three vice-presidential posts, as well as the position of deputy prime minister.

Under the plan unveiled by Al-Abadi, responsibilities will be transferred from the vice-presidents to the interior and defence ministries.

Al-Abadi’s overhaul comes in the wake of widespread protests and calls for improved public services.

The prime minister also approved trials for military leaders who are being blamed for the fall of Ramadi, Iraq’s second city, to the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in May 2014.

In a statement, Al-Abadi said the government would put on trial “a number of the leaders to the military judiciary for leaving their positions without orders and contrary to instructions (and) despite the issuance of a number of orders not to withdraw”.

Seperately, on the same day, an Iraqi parliamentary panel called for former dozens of senior Iriaqi officials, including former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, to stand trial of the fall of Mosul.

The northern city, which is Iraq’s second-biggest, fell to Isis in June last year.

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