Iraq's PM calls on political partners to help reduce cabinet
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki on Thursday called on the country's leading political blocs to help reducing his cabinet ministries after an assessment showed some incompetence during a precedent 100-day period that he earlier set to quell protests in the country, Xinhua reported.
"Cutting the number of the ministries has become an urgent need, in addition to the need to carry out a reshuffle to some other ministries," Maliki said in a televised speech aired on the state- run channel of Iraqia.
The final results of the assessment showed that the performance of most of Maliki's ministries had been between good and medium, but quite few others performed poorly, Maliki said, adding that he will continue assessing the performance of his cabinet in the future without giving specified periods.
The results, which originally were findings made by a special committee formed by Maliki's ministerial council, also showed that there is a need to make changes in the high-level cadre of some ministries such as the levels of deputy ministers, advisors and directors general, Maliki said, citing the committee's report.
However, observers here see that the 100-day period, which ended on June 7, showed no tangible achievements for the angry public who suffer from the persistence of widespread corruption, unemployment and poor public services eight years after the U.S.- led invasion.
The given situation pushed Maliki to throw the ball into the fields of the parliament and his rival political blocs when he said that the report of his committee showed that "the 100-day period revealed the government need for legislation and laws ( which should be passed by the parliament)."
"The parliament bears major responsibility for delaying enacting laws. The parliament is the government partner in both success and failure," Maliki said.
He called on the parliament to fully cooperate with his government, urging it to put a time frame to pass the delayed laws.
The government expected support from all the political blocs during the 100-day period, but some parties who are parts of the political process joined "enemies of Iraq by inciting political crises and creating problems," Maliki added.
Earlier in the year, Iraq witnessed massive demonstrations in several provinces protesting unemployment and a sharp rise in the prices of food staples, as well as demanding better public services.
The protests forced Maliki on Feb. 27 to give his cabinet a 100- day period as a chance to improve their performance or face changes in a bid to quell protests that engulfed the country over poor government performance.