Shia protesters storm Iraq parliament

Iraqi Shia activists have stormed parliament in protest against ongoing deadlock in approving a new cabinet.

Hundreds of supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr broke through gates of the protected Green Zone after Members of Parliament again failed to convene for a vote.

The protesters are reported to have begun ransacking parliament buildings.

Mr Sadr wants Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to press ahead with a plan to replace ministers with non-partisan technocrats.

Powerful parties in parliament have refused to approve the change for several weeks.

Report says a protest outside the Green Zone escalated after parliament again failed to reach a quorum on Saturday.

It said the protesters stopped lawmakers attempting to flee the building chanting, “the cowards ran away!”

Iraq’s system of sharing government jobs has long been criticised for promoting unqualified candidates and encouraging corruption.

Mr Abadi, who came to power in 2014, has promised to stamp out corruption and ease sectarian tensions, but he has failed so far to introduce a new technocratic cabinet.

BBC