Iraq's parliament approves reform plan in rare show of unity

BAGHDAD: Iraq's parliament has unanimously approved an ambitious reform plan that would cut spending and eliminate senior posts, including the country's three largely symbolic vice presidencies.

In a rare show of unity, parliament approved the plan Tuesday without debate, in sharp contrast to the heated arguments and delays that have slowed previous efforts to enact reforms.

The plan, unveiled Sunday by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, would cut spending and eliminate the offices of the three vice presidents and the three deputy prime ministers, largely symbolic positions where appointments have long been determined by party patronage and sectarian loyalties.

The move comes after mass protests across Iraq against corruption and poor governance, focused on frequent power outages which have made a recent heat wave even more unbearable.