World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi headed to parliament to present his list of candidates for a new cabinet on Thursday, the day a deadline for him to do so expired.
Abadi's office said he would present "a list of names of candidates for the ministries and their resumes."
The candidates "were chosen by a committee of specialised experts on the basis of their professionalism, competence, integrity and leadership ability," the premier's office said in a statement.
After arriving, the premier went into a meeting with parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi and other senior officials, a parliamentary source said.
Abadi has repeatedly called for the current cabinet of party-affiliated ministers to be replaced with technocrats, but has faced resistance from powerful blocs and their ministers, who rely on their positions for patronage and financial gain.
Parliament voted earlier this week to give Abadi until Thursday to present his proposed lineup, and Abadi announced on Wednesday that he would do so.
Abadi is also under pressure from powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, who has orchestrated an 11-day sit-in at entrances to Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, where the government has its headquarters.
Sadr had threatened that his supporters would storm the Green Zone if Abadi failed to present a line-up of technocrats.
But buying Abadi a little more time, Sadr entered the Green Zone alone on Sunday, asking his supporters to remain outside the perimeter.
The scion of an influential clerical family from the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Sadr first made a name for himself at the age of 30 as a vociferous anti-American cleric who raised a rebellion.
His influence ebbed after the 2011 US pullout but he retained strong support among the lower classes and is now casting himself as the champion of the fight against graft.Last Mod: 31 Mart 2016, 14:48