Iraq News

Iraqi PM designate gets challenge of forming government



Newly designated Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi (second from left) walks out of the Iraqi parliament with newly-elected President Barham Saleh in Baghdad on October 2nd. [Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP] 

Veteran Iraqi politician and Prime Minister designate Adel Abdel Mahdi on Wednesday (October 3rd) began the tough task of forming the next government, seeking to overcome sharp differences and unite political parties.

In a surprise move Tuesday, just hours after being elected, new President Barham Saleh handed Abdel Mahdi the difficult task of navigating Iraq's tangled politics to form a government within 30 days.

Saleh, 58, swept to the post of president of Iraq on Tuesday evening in a parliamentary vote, routing his main rival Fuad Hussein with 219 votes to 22.

He is a moderate who has served as Iraqi deputy prime minister under Nuri al-Maliki and as head of the Kurdish regional government.

A Shia and native of Baghdad, the 76-year-old Abdel Mahdi is regarded as an independent. An economist by training who has served as oil minister, he will be able to call on years of experience as a regular on Iraq's diplomatic scene.

Several different blocs in the Iraqi parliament have been jostling for power following the May 12th parliamentary elections, which has stymied the formation of a new government.

Power-sharing system

Iraq has a proportional system designed to prevent a slide into dictatorship.

The largely ceremonial role of president, now taken by Saleh, has been reserved for the Kurds since Iraq's first multi-party elections in 2005.

Under the power-sharing deal, the post of prime minister is held by a Shia, while the speaker of parliament is Sunni Arab -- a post filled last month by Mohammed al-Halbusi.

Abdel Mahdi, a former Iraqi vice president, has proven political credentials and is regarded as a rare figure of consensus. He is credited with having good relations with a number of Kurdish leaders.

An economist by training, he has won the backing of US and European leaders. In 2014, he took up the post of oil minister under al-Abadi, before resigning two years later.

Now he has just 30 days to navigate tangled Iraqi politics and form a government. If he fails, then another candidate will have to be chosen.

Responding to a message of congratulations from outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Abdel Mahdi showed he was wary of the task ahead, referring to it as "a heavy responsibility".

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Not a good decision.


America has destroyed Iraq and stolen its wealth. It has assigned the destruction of the rest of Iraq to others who are robbing the country’s wealth. Iraq is moving from bad to worse. The United States has destroyed Iraq and the world, and has starved peoples, and stolen their wealth. When it occupies any country, it hands power over to people and thieves who serve it and who have no sense of patriotism and who don’t care about the country.


What government? What do America and Arab countries have to do with Iraq? What do America, the Middle East, Netanyahu have to do with this? Everyone works for America and Netanyahu. Everyone is taking part in this play. Let those who are wise understand. I congratulate you.


Only God will relieve us! God suffices me and He is the best disposer of affairs! Until when will Iraq to move from bad to worse? The government is corrupt and a failure.


The problem is that there is no one person who governs Iraq; rather, it's governed by several people and each one governs in his own way.


We want to hear and see what academic certificates he has got, what his qualifications are, and where he got them, before we hear his programme for the future of Iraq. We must know how he got them, what his positive role is, and what he did for Iraq all these years while prime minister. We must bear in mind that he didn’t run for elections. Aren’t there competent people in Iraq other than those people? Who are you deceiving? When they want a government of independents, you run for the elections, and when they want a government of turbans, you all put on turbans. How can he run Iraq when he can’t control or choose a small group of body guards? You said his body guards have robbed Azawya bank. How can he protect this country? Just read! Peace be to a country which was great in the past, called Iraq.


Abdul Mahdi won’t add anything new in the coming period. The reason was that he was chosen by fiascoes.


We hope there won’t be any parties. If there are many political parties in Iraq, the country will be destroyed. This is because parties are behind the destruction of Iraq, especially poor Iraqis. They have stolen everything. God damn them! I bring you the good news that God’s victory will come. Let them wait for God’s ability against them. God will remain to be the strongest. They will see strong fire because they’re unjust. God will humiliate them because of their own acts.


O, Diyaruna, it’s not Baathist. You’ve tried al-Baath Party and destroyed Iraq. Why do you incite against the parties? [Gibberish].


Sayyid Adel, the icon of the media, deserves this. He's an honest man.


We hope brother Adel will choose his cabinet from outside the parties.


We pray to God almighty to strengthen Iraq’s politicians and leaders, and to have a prosperous Iraq where there is no unemployment, poverty or need. We also pray to God to keep away all evils from us and to enable us to live in peace and security, and to open up appointments. Thanks.


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