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Adil Abdul-Mahdi withdraws vice-presidential candidacy – Adviser | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat – The Islamic Supreme Council’s Adil Abdul-Mahdi has withdrawn his vice-presidential candidacy, according to his political adviser, Leith Shaber. Shaber revealed that Abdul-Mahdi “has withdrawn his candidacy for the position of Iraqi vice president, because he will be incapable of fulfilling his responsibilities under the present circumstances.”

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat via telephone from Baghdad on Sunday, Shabir said that “the vice president [Abdul-Mahdi] sent a message to Iraqi president Jalal Talabani, and clarified that he was withdrawing his candidacy for a second vice-presidential term.”

Shabir added that “Vice President Abdul-Mahdi would certainly have informed Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council, of his withdrawal from this post, in his position as the National Alliance’s [vice-presidential] candidate.”

Leith Shaber did not provide further clarification of the reasons behind Abdul-Mahdi withdrawing his candidacy; however a source close to the Iraqi Vice President told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the most prominent reason behind Abdul-Mahdi’s withdrawal is the delay in the ratification of his candidacy by the Iraqi Council of Representatives.”

The source also indicated that Abdul-Mahdi “felt that he would not be able to play an important role to serve Iraq and the Iraqi people, in light of the delay in the formation of the Iraqi government, with the three major security positions yet to be filled, namely the defense, interior, and national security [ministers].” In addition to this, the source cited “the absence of political consensus between the major Iraqi electoral blocs, and the non-implementation of the Iraqi people’s demands with regards to services, security, stability, and unemployment”, as reasons for Abdul-Mahdi’s withdrawal.

The source close to Adil Abdul-Mahdi also told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Abdul-Mahdi has never demanded a governmental position, and he did not rush to obtain his [electoral] entitlement to be prime minister in 2005, but rather he waived this [electoral] entitlement in order to preserve the political process, and the unity of the National Iraqi Alliance – which was united at that time – and [also] because he did not want to delay the formation of the government.”

The source added that “the vice president announced his desire to form a government based upon services and citizenship, namely a government that serves its citizens by providing clear political and economic programs, and he is working to serve the people. His candidacy for a second vice presidential term will not allow him, in light of the current situation, to achieve his legitimate aspirations.”

As for the constitutional legitimacy of Iraqi vice presidents Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Tariq al-Hashemi remaining in these positions, Shaber told Asharq Al-Awsat that “this is based upon two unrelated issues. Firstly, the vice presidents are continuing to carry out their duties in accordance with a presidential decree issued by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, on 6 December 2010, in which the president asked his two deputies to continue their duties until the legislative requirements relating to this issue are completed. What is meant by legislative requirements in this case is the nomination of two new vice presidential candidates, and the Iraqi Council of Representatives consenting to this nomination.”

He added that “the Iraqi Council of Representatives passed a special law allowing the Iraqi president to nominate one or more of his deputies, with the Iraqi president nominating [Abdul-Mahdi and Hashemi] for this position, in accordance with paragraph (ii) of Article 69 of the Iraqi Constitution, regarding the special powers of the president.” Shaber added that “therefore, Vice Presidents Abdul-Mahdi and Hashemi are continuing in their positions in accordance with this presidential mandate.”

He also told Asharq Al-Awsat that “this will end when vice presidential candidates are put to, and approved by, the Iraqi Council of Representatives.” He noted that “this is the second part of the issue, namely the nomination of new [vice-presidential] candidates, and this issue is outside the presidential mandate.”