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Ability trumps law in Iraq, VP says

Ability trumps law in Iraq, VP says
Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi attends the funeral of a victim killed in a bomb attack in Baghdad's Karrada district September 29, 2008. Four bombs killed at least 32 people and wounded scores in busy districts of Baghdad on Sunday as Iraqis shopped and broke their fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, police said. (UPI Photo/Ali Jasim) | License Photo

BAGHDAD, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Political players in Iraq should back the coalition that is best able to settle on a candidate for prime minister, the Iraqi vice president said.

Nearly seven months have passed since Iraq had elections to form a new government. The Iraqiya slate, led by former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, won the contest by two seats but fell well short of the 163-seat majority needed to form a government alone.

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Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, himself a candidate for prime minister, said he was close to securing backing from a Shiite political alliance but was blocked by former Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari.

"Personally, I have learned to respect and appreciate those who object against or oppose me as much as I respect those who support and work with me," he told London's pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

Iraqiya said that it has the constitutional authority to have the first crack at forming a new government. The vice president agreed but said the issue was more of a matter of ability.

"All eyes should focus on the bloc that is capable of putting forward such a candidate, not on the (constitutional) procedures," he said.

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