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Iraqi PM cuts several top government positions

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has cut 11 cabinet posts and eliminated the vice president's office
Tens of thousands of Iraqis have demonstrated across the country to protest financial and administrative corruption (AA)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has cut 11 cabinet posts as part of a wide-ranging reform package, his office said in a statement on Sunday.

Abadi also eliminated the vice president’s office, scrapped three deputy premier positions and four ministries, and merged four more ministries with others.

As part of the shake-up, he removed the human rights ministry, the ministry of state for women's affairs, the ministry of state for provincial and parliamentary affairs, and a third ministry of state.

Abadi combined the science and technology ministry with higher education, environment with health, municipalities with reconstruction and housing, and tourism and antiquities with culture. 

The sweeping reforms were borne out of a plan on 9 August after thousands of Iraqis protested for government reforms and a crackdown on corruption.

Amid tight security, tens of thousands of Iraqis have demonstrated across the country to protest the financial and administrative corruption rampant in Iraqi ministries since 2003 and the lack of the basic services as the temperature exceeded 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit).

The country’s top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has also called on the government institute a wide-ranging reform package.

Abadi's proposal includes aiming to limit financial and administrative corruption, relieving the burden on the Iraqi treasury and providing some money to pay the delayed salaries of governmental employees.

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