09:20 GMT +314 November 2019
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    Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi speaks during a symbolic funeral ceremony of Major General Ali al-Lami, who commands the Iraqi Federal Police's Fourth Division, who was killed in Salahuddin, in Baghdad, Iraq October 23, 2019.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Pledges Cabinet Reshuffle, Electoral Law Amendment Amid Protests

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    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) - Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said that he will carry out a cabinet reshuffle and introduce changes to election laws amid a new wave of anti-government protests beginning early on Friday.

    The protesters have already started gathering in Baghdad after a suspension in rallies due to pilgrimage to southern Iraq.

    "The next week, we will carry out changes in the cabinet of ministers … We will also introduce changes to the existing electoral law and reconsider the role of the Electoral Commission," the prime minister said in a public address, aired live on Arabic TV channels.

    The prime minister explained that a government resignation, demanded by protesters, will throw the country in chaos.

    Mahdi also announced a 50 percent reduction in salaries for high-ranked officials, including ministers and the president. In addition, the authorities will look into amending the constitution to decrease the number of parliamentarians.

    Moreover, Iraq plans to convene a regional commission including neighboring countries to "separate Iraq from regional conflicts," according to the prime minister.

    The protests against the government's economic policies and corruption have been underway since 1 October.

    They have turned violent and have led to dozens of civilians killed and injured.


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