Time Running Out for Iraq's Ministers

With just another month to go in Nouri al-Maliki's 100-day ultimatum to his ministers to improve services, the Prime Minister is now increasing the pressure once more.

In addition to sacking ministers who have not performed within the required time, Maliki is also suggesting dissolving the government or even the entire parliament, either at the 100-day mark or at some later stage.

When we think back to the painfully long process of forming the current government, threats of this nature should not be made lightly or idly.

But this rolling ultimatum, if it is serious, may help to focus the minds of Iraq's ministers and parliamentarians in their mammoth task of rebuilding the country.

Parliament's next big decision in this respect is to approve the cabinet's plans to spend $35bn on infrastructure. With the country crying out for basic essential services such as electricity, and with Maliki's threat hanging over them, allocating funds to improve infrastructure should be high on their list of priorities.

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