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Maliki will speak on tv 8pm Iraqi time


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I like the idea that each minister is going to go on TV and explain their 4-year plan.

Puts the expectations on those individuals. So, when a particular service is not being met.. They know who to "call out."

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This states he said something Monday evening, and says 1 hour ago on the site....

Iraq PM backs off firings on 100-day deadline

By Mohamad Ali Harissi (AFP) – 1 hour ago

BAGHDAD — A 100-day deadline set by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki amid nationwide protests expires on Tuesday, though the premier has pulled back from a threat of major changes if ministers did not shape up.

Though signs of progress are visible, from road construction projects to sewage system upgrades, little in the way of landmark laws have been passed, key issues remain unresolved and protests have already been called for Friday.

Maliki had set the timetable on February 27, noting that reviews would be carried out based on ministerial performance over the ensuing 100 days and warning that "changes will be made" based on those assessments.

But the day before the deadline was set to expire, he signaled no top politicians would be dismissed for poor performance, insisting his remarks had been misunderstood.

"There are those who want to confuse the concept of this initiative," Maliki said in comments broadcast on Iraqiya state television Monday evening.

"We think that they want to push people to force ministers to be accountable for a few things that naturally should take more time."

Maliki issued the 100-day warning amid widespread protests across Iraq over poor basic services, high unemployment and rampant corruption, in some of the biggest rallies since the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.

At the time, it was seen as an effort to force ministers to make progress, after Iraq had already languished without a new government for more than nine months following March 2010 elections.

But on Monday evening, Maliki said ministries were "accomplishing what they can accomplish".

"The 100-day project created new initiatives to address short-term issues," he added, noting that meetings would be held from Tuesday, broadcast live on television, where ministers would explain what they had accomplished, what they would accomplish and what obstacles remained.

"(Each) minister has a four-year plan and (they will explain) what is the track that we want to follow in the next 100 days," Maliki said.

Protests have already been planned for Friday, with a group set up on social networking website Facebook called "Great Iraqi Revolution" drawing 35,000 members and urging supporters to take to the streets.

Other similar groups drew thousands of users, though it was impossible to verify how many were inside Iraq.

In response to the February rallies, the government re-routed $900 million originally earmarked for the purchase of F-16 fighter planes to food for the poor and started projects such as the roadworks and sewage repairs that showed visible change.

It also reserved $400 million to distribute generator fuel so Iraqis will be able to power air conditioners over the brutally hot summer.

Ministers are hoping that will head off demonstrations such as those that erupted from June to August last year across south Iraq.

But key questions have not been addressed.

These include the future status of the 45,000 US troops left in Iraq, the disputed oil-rich province of Kirkuk, and efforts to diversify Iraq's economy away from crude oil, which accounts for two-thirds of revenues but just one percent of jobs.

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved.

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