Sunday, August 27, 2006

Reuters: Iraq's prime minister plans to reshuffle his cabinet just 100 days after it was formed because of frustrations with some ministers' performance and disloyalty among others, Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih told Reuters. In a weekend interview, he said Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki would make the changes soon in an "important signal" of commitment to efficiency in his national unity coalition and to his efforts to rally factions behind a reconciliation plan to avert civil war. Some changes will involve the movement of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, several political sources said on Sunday. A key player in the government formed in May after months of wrangling, Sadr denies his Mehdi Army militia runs some of the sectarian death squads behind much recent violence. "There will be a government reshuffle. There will be some changes in a number of cabinet portfolios," Salih, the most senior Kurdish official in the cabinet, said. "It's only natural for the prime minister and the political leadership to contemplate reshuffling and changing to improve the ability of the government," he added. [...]