Iraqi PM announces five new cabinet ministers in effort to clean up corruption

BAGHDAD, Aug. 15 (UPI) — Iraq’s parliament on Monday approved five of six new cabinet appointments by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, which are part of broader efforts to clean up corruption in the Baghdad government.

The new ministers will oversee oil, water, housing, higher education, and transportation. Another appointee, for trade, was denied by the 328-seat parliament.

The cabinet shuffle is part of a plan by al-Abadi to wipe out widespread corruption that has been reported by various news media.

An earlier attempt to reshuffle the cabinet in June, after the departures of six ministers, was rejected by the Iraqi federal court.

Monday’s approvals follow a weeks-long delay in confirming the new officials.

The democratically-elected Iraqi government has been working to operate independent of U.S. support for years since the overthrow and execution of former dictator Saddam Hussein.

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