Iraq

Iraqis stage rallies in support of Abadi’s reform plan

Iraqis have held rallies in the country’s capital, Baghdad, and other cities to voice support for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s reform plan.

The demonstration in the capital was held at the Tahrir (Liberation) Square Sunday night in support of Abadi’s seven-point reform plan that aims to battle corruption and slash government costs. Several other cities in the Arab country also witnessed similar rallies by the Iraqis.

“We are here in Tahrir Square for our demands. Corruption makes life in Iraq so difficult,” a demonstrator told Press TV’s correspondent. “We demand that Abadi decrease the salaries of the parliament and decrease the number of parliament numbers from more than 350 to less than 220.”

The premier’s reforms, which were earlier approved by the cabinet, also aim to improve the administration’s performance in the face of a wave of dissatisfaction with government services.

The plan scraps three vice presidential posts as well as the offices of three deputy prime ministers. One of the vice presidents is former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“Iraqi people right now [are] fighting terrorist groups like Daesh (ISIL) and others and at the same time we have parliament members who have the highest salary … so we want Mr. Abadi to have real steps against them, the corrupted people and the corruption in the country,” another demonstrator told Press TV’s correspondent.

The plan, which follows weeks of demonstrations, and a call from senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, for tougher reform, now requires parliamentary approval.

The plan is scheduled for debate at the Iraqi parliament on Tuesday.

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