Iraq and Gulf Analysis

A Presidency in Disarray: Abd al-Mahdi Resigns Three Weeks after Being Appointed as Deputy

Posted by Reidar Visser on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 19:03

It seems slightly surrealistic that Iraqi politics should still be focused on the institution of the presidency these days: Since the transitional period outlined in the Iraqi constitution came to an end in November 2010, the president (Jalal Talabani of the Kurdish alliance) holds a mostly ceremonial office whose sole remaining prerogative of any significance is the power to introduce bills to parliament (crucially it no longer has any veto right). The deputies to the president – specified in the constitution as “one or more” and in a bill passed in January 2011 limited to “maximum three” – have no constitutionally defined powers whatsoever except what is delegated to them from the president’s own limited remit… Full story here.

4 Responses to “A Presidency in Disarray: Abd al-Mahdi Resigns Three Weeks after Being Appointed as Deputy”

  1. Santana said


    There’s more than meets the eye on this issue of Adil resigning-other than what the papers or what ISCI says…. you did not bring up the internal dilemma within the Presidency Council on the signing off on executions. For example- Talabani will not sign off on execution verdicts and wants to delegate to Adil…and there are many Sadrists on death row…Adil doesn’t wanna do it either cuz Iran and the Sadrists have threatened him if he did (thru ISCI) and threatened Talabani as well… all this time Talabani tries to come across -by not signing- as a “Humanitarian” that opposes Capital punishment (but for some warped reason it’s ok to kill demonstrators in Sulaimaniyah) when in reality he is afraid of JAM / Al-Quds………… additionally, it is my opinion that Iran and the Sadrists will fight any ascension of Alhashimi to “First VP” cuz they feel he may not hesitate to sign and they obviously have less influence on him.
    If I was a betting man I would bet that this was one of the main reasons Adil resigned ….life is precious.
    JAM is a terror group and a “Mafia” and Qassem Sulaimani is their Godfather.

  2. Reidar Visser said

    Santana, point taken, but remember that others focus on alleged Baathists on death row and even suggest that Khuzaie was perfectly ready to sign execution orders for them. After all, there may be more people convicted of terrorism with Baathist links links than Sadrists awaiting execution. I’m sure there would be an outcry in hardline Shiite circles if no executions could go ahead at all because four (now three) members of the presidency all refused!

  3. Santana said

    Correct Riedar- good point….and that’s why I am saying Adil resigned…cuz the pressure was too much…he was not gonna sign off on Baathist executions only and not the Sadrists….effectively replacing one threat with another and also be accused of discrimination.
    I just think he got fed up with all the external interference in the Presidency Council duties.
    As far as “the outcry from Shiite circles if no executions take place” they may have to tone it down if they don’t want a double standard….but they do want a double standard- their perfect scenario is a sectarian like Khuzaiee that only signs off on Baathists.

  4. Reidar Visser said

    An additional aspect of this is that Abd al-Mahdi seemed to withdraw as a deputy candidate in late March (I think on 25 March) but then became a candidate again later on.

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