Iraq’s parliament on Monday voted to give Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi a three-day deadline by which to present his new government or face a vote of no-confidence.
"Thursday will be the final deadline for [al-Abadi] to present his new cabinet," MP Rahim al-Draji told Anadolu Agency.
He said parliament would hold a confidence vote on Saturday if al-Abadi failed to present his government lineup by Thursday.
Al-Abadi has recently come under mounting pressure to replace his current cabinet with a new government of "technocrats" untainted by corruption or sectarianism -- both of which, critics say, have hamstrung Iraq’s previous post-invasion governments.
Earlier this month, supporters of prominent Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr staged massive protests outside Baghdad’s Green Zone to demand a new technocratic government.
On Sunday, al-Sadr began a one-man sit-in inside the heavily-fortified Green Zone -- which houses the prime minister’s office, parliament and foreign diplomatic missions -- to pressure al-Abadi to appoint a new cabinet.
During Monday’s parliamentary session, al-Sadr’s Ahrar bloc -- which holds 34 seats in the 328-seat parliament and three ministerial portfolios in the current government -- rejected a proposal to give al-Abadi a further two weeks to unveil a new government.
Last summer, Iraq’s parliament approved a sweeping raft of reforms proposed by the prime minister. The reforms are aimed at meeting popular demands to eliminate widespread government corruption and streamline state bureaucracy.
By Muayed al-Tarifi
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