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Iraq's prime minister presents new cabinet, amid protests

The head of government has submitted a new cabinet lineup to parliament in a bid to tackle allegations of corruption. Al-Abadi's efforts come as Iraq struggles with depleting resources and the battling "Islamic State."

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday submitted to parliament a proposed lineup of new cabinet members in a move aimed at quashing allegations of government corruption.

"He presented a list with the names of candidates for ministries and their CVs who were chosen by a special committee of experts on the basis of professionalism, competence, integrity and leadership," said a statement on the prime minister's website.

Al-Abadi's announcement comes as Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Sunday launched a sit-in inside Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone, home to several government institutions and foreign embassies, to pressure the government for reforms.

Last month, Iraq's prime minister promised to reshuffle his cabinet and implement government reforms to tackle graft, but he failed to meet a Saturday deadline set by lawmakers, prompting the cleric to launch the sit-in.

Al-Sadr has called for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to dismiss ministers and appoint technocrats to the government in an anti-corruption drive.

The Shiite cleric and his supporters claim Iraq's politicians are at the heart of government mismanagement and corruption draining the country's resources.

Thousands of al-Sadr's supporters continued their sit-in outside the Green Zone as the cleric entered the heavily-fortified area

Thousands of al-Sadr's supporters continued their sit-in outside the Green Zone as the cleric entered the heavily-fortified area

Meanwhile, thousands of al-Abadi's supporters continued their sit-in outside the Green Zone.

The Shiite cleric rose to notoriety following the US' 2003 invasion of Iraq as the leader of the Mahdi Army, which fought against American troops on Iraqi soil.

Despite not being part of an elected office, al-Sadr commands significant influence over Iraq's Shiite community.

Watch video 25:55

Iraq's Haider al-Abadi | Conflict Zone

ls/rc (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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