Abadi Bio Essay

Submitted By Dylan-Golden
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Haider al-Abadi: A new era for Iraq?
By Mohamed Madi BBC News
Haider al-Abadi hails from the same party as his predecessor, Nouri Maliki
Continue reading the main story
Struggle for Iraq
In pictures: Fleeing Mt Sinjar
Arming the Kurds
Why Iran let Maliki go
Ten days in Iraq
Iraq's deputy speaker Haider al-Abadi is set to be the country's new prime minister.
One of Iraq's most senior politicians, he has held several high-profile posts since returning to Iraq from exile in 2003.
He succeeded in usurping incumbent Nouri Maliki as the preferred candidate of the Shia State of Law parliamentary coalition, although Mr Maliki initially bitterly disputed the appointment.
But Mr Maliki later announced he would step aside and back Mr Abadi.
President Fuad Masum has charged Mr Abadi with forming a new government within 30 days, and faces the task of rebuilding trust between the Iraqi government and the country's Kurds and Sunnis, who felt increasingly alienated under Mr Maliki.
If he can form a coalition, Mr Abadi will take over at a time of deep national crisis, as Islamic State militants have taken over large swathes of northern Iraq.
Suffered under Saddam
Born in 1952 in Baghdad, Mr Abadi studied electrical engineering at the University of Baghdad in 1975. In 1981, he completed a PhD at the University of Manchester in the UK.
He worked as an industry adviser and consultant in the UK during this time. For several years he was in charge of the company servicing the lifts at the BBC's Bush House, then the home of the World Service, and was known by several journalists there.
For much of the 80s and 90s, he was exiled from Iraq because he was a member of the Islamic Dawa party, an Iraqi Shia opposition organisation.
Haider al-Abadi has been at the top of Iraqi politics since returning from exile in 2003
Mr Abadi says two of his brothers were killed and another imprisoned for 10 years during Saddam Hussein's rule. They were all Islamic Dawa members.
After returning to Iraq in 2003, he became minister of communications in the Iraqi governing council, and has served as an MP since 2006. He has headed several Iraqi parliamentary committees, including those for finance and economics.
Moderate but firm
Mr Abadi has long been tipped as a potential prime-ministerial candidate, having been in contention for the top job in both 2006 and 2010.
Analysts are generally agreed that Mr Abadi is a less divisive figure than Nouri Maliki. However, this tells us little as the bar for that comparison is so low.
The political background of both is rooted in the Islamic Dawa party, which in the 1970s waged an armed insurgency against the Baath regime.
Former foreign office diplomat Gerard Russell says that because of this, Mr Abadi is not too distant politically from his rival.
The president (2nd left) has asked Mr Abadi (right) to form a government
"He comes from a very similar background" he says. But he adds that, within the Dawa party, both men have taken differing approaches.
"Al-Abadi is a very clever man, and is a politician by background. Maliki had something more of an underground background" he says.
He will also be more attractive abroad, Mr Russell says.
"His name would probably not have been put forward without the approval of the Americans and the Iranians" he says.
"Of the three