Iraqi lawmakers have voted to limit the powers of the country's prime minister in enacting reforms, forcing him to seek parliament's approval before going ahead and implementing new measures.

Kurdish lawmaker, Muhsin al-Saadoun, says Monday's decision by the parliament is not a "negative stand" against Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's reform plan, which was unanimously approved in August.

Al-Saaddoun says that the parliament simply wanted to maintain the separation of powers between government and the legislature, which are enshrined in the Iraqi constitution.

Al-Abadi's move to sack the country's three vice presidents and deputy prime ministers, and to cut the salaries of government employees, has sparked widespread condemnation from various political parties. His reform plan followed mass protests against corruption, poor services and reckless government spending.