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Haidar al-Abadi: from exile to Iraq PM designate

Iraqi MP and Dawa party member Haidar al-Abadi is pictured in Baghdad on November 22, 2009Haidar al-Abadi, who was nominated Monday as Iraq’s next premier, is a former exile and long-serving MP who was close to Nuri al-Maliki until he took his job. “The country is in your hands,” President Fuad Masum told Abadi after accepting his nomination by parliament’s Shiite alliance in a move slammed by Maliki, who insists he is being robbed of a third term. Abadi was communications minister in the interim government set up after the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and is a member of Maliki’s Dawa party. “Up until recently, he’s been a Maliki surrogate,” said Kirk Sowell, the Amman-based publisher of the Inside Iraqi Politics newsletter.

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