Shake-Up Expected for Al-Maliki's Iraq Government, Official Says

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Changes will be made in the Iraqi Cabinet following an escalation in violence threatening Baghdad, politicians said Sunday.

The Cabinet changes could take place as soon as next week, said Hassan al-Suneid, a lawmaker from the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa party.

Among the ministries that could be affected is Interior because of a collapse in security as bloody sectarian attacks escalate. Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani is under fire because of the ongoing violence.

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On Sunday, al-Bolani acknowledged sectarian influences have corrupted the government and jeopardized the country. He conceded corruption exists in his own ministry.

"We will not allow any act of violence and sectarianism inside the ministry. Our country faces big confrontations and challenges," al-Bolani told parliament members as he briefed them on what he said is a new security plan to be announced in September.

Al-Suneid said the minister's previous comments to parliament "have not been encouraging," adding that "there are fears he will be replaced and that's why he addressed the parliament."

Al-Bolani, however, told The Associated Press he was unaware of any cabinet reshuffle.

Some ministries expected to be affected include the health, transport and justice ministries.

The first set of changes in al-Maliki's cabinet will include the service ministries, followed shortly afterward by security ministries — which are among the most important as bloody sectarian clashes threaten to unravel the country.

Sheik Mahid Mualla, a cleric from the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the country's biggest Shiite party, said upcoming changes are necessary for the country to survive.

"The success of these is the success of the government," Mualla said.

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