Iraqis watch the news on TV at a cafe on Al-Rasheed street in the capital Baghdad as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called for sweeping reforms, August 9, 2015. AFP/SABAH ARAR
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Iraq's prime minister unveiled a bold plan Sunday to abolish three vice presidential posts and the offices of three deputy premiers, hoping to cut spending amid mass protests against his government as ISIS still holds a third of his nation.The plan would also effectively push out of government former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, widely criticized for inflaming sectarian tensions and appointing loyal, less-qualified senior officers to Iraq's military ahead of ISIS' advance last year.The anti-corruption drive received a push two days ago when Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called on Abadi to quickly address internal issues in the government, including corruption.That's similar to the pledge Abadi made Aug. 10, 2014, when he was named premier-elect. While people publicly may support reform, Abadi's plan noticeably pushes his predecessor, Maliki, out of office, as well as Ayad Allawi, a former member of Saddam's Baathist government who was named prime minister following the 2003 invasion.Maliki, who served as prime minister from 2006 until mid-2014, was widely accused of monopolizing power.
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