Middle East

Iraq's parliament approves partial Cabinet reshuffle

  • Hundreds of civilians flee villages outside Mosul the day after Iraqi Kurdish forces launch an operation east of Islamic State-held Mosul on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. The Kurdish forces known as the Peshmerga say they have retaken 12 villages in the operation in an effort to encircle the city. (AP Photo/Susannah George)

    Hundreds of civilians flee villages outside Mosul the day after Iraqi Kurdish forces launch an operation east of Islamic State-held Mosul on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. The Kurdish forces known as the Peshmerga say they have retaken 12 villages in the operation in an effort to encircle the city. (AP Photo/Susannah George)  (The Associated Press)

  • A family from the Shenif area outside Mosul flees clashes between Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Islamic State group east of Mosul on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. Iraqi Kurdish forces say they have retaken 12 villages from the Islamic State group Monday, in a fresh push on the militant held city. (AP Photo/Susannah George)

    A family from the Shenif area outside Mosul flees clashes between Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Islamic State group east of Mosul on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. Iraqi Kurdish forces say they have retaken 12 villages from the Islamic State group Monday, in a fresh push on the militant held city. (AP Photo/Susannah George)  (The Associated Press)

  • Civilians flee villages outside Mosul the day after Iraqi Kurdish forces launch an operation  east of Islamic State-held Mosul on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. The Kurdish forces known as the Peshmerga say they have retaken 12 villages in the operation in an effort to encircle the city. (AP Photo/Susannah George)

    Civilians flee villages outside Mosul the day after Iraqi Kurdish forces launch an operation east of Islamic State-held Mosul on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. The Kurdish forces known as the Peshmerga say they have retaken 12 villages in the operation in an effort to encircle the city. (AP Photo/Susannah George)  (The Associated Press)

Iraq's parliament has approved a partial Cabinet reshuffle, part of a set of reforms proposed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that has been stymied by the country's entrenched political blocs.

Parliament spokesman Emad al-Khafaji says lawmakers on Monday endorsed nominees for five ministries: oil, water resources, higher education, transportation, and housing and construction. He says the new ministers have been sworn in.

He says lawmakers rejected a sixth nominee, for the trade portfolio.

Shortly after taking office in 2014, al-Abadi proposed reforms to combat corruption, cut government spending and merge ministries. He had hoped to replace political appointees with independent technocrats who could improve public services, which rapidly deteriorated following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Early this year, he promised a cabinet reshuffle, but lawmakers had repeatedly blocked his efforts.