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Iraqi PM eliminates 11 cabinet portfolios

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has reduced the number of cabinet portfolios from 33 to 22, the prime ministry said.

According to a statement released late Sunday, the move – effective immediately – dissolves three deputy prime ministries; the Ministry of Human Rights; the Ministry of State for Women’s Affairs; the Ministry of State for Provincial Affairs; and the Ministry of State.

Additionally, the ministries of science and technology; higher education and scientific research; construction and housing; municipalities and public works; and tourism and antiquities will all be subsumed under a single ministry, the name of which has yet to be decided.

The move comes within the context of a raft of reforms proposed by al-Abadi last week and subsequently endorsed by Iraq’s parliament.

Al-Abadi’s reform package, which is ostensibly aimed at fighting corruption and streamlining state bureaucracy, was introduced following two weeks of countrywide demonstrations against government corruption and poor public services.

According to the prime ministry’s statement, the dissolution of the 11 portfolios is “entirely legal and consistent with Iraq’s constitution”.

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