Unlike previous governments, the president and vice presidents will have no powers this time around. In 2004 the outgoing Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) created the three person Presidential Council to represent Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds. Mahdi, Hashemi, and Talabani filled those slots respectively. Each member had veto power over any legislation. The Council has now been dissolved, and the presidency will revert to a symbolic head of state as is common in many other countries. The vice presidents are completely unnecessary however, and are simply being created to maintain the ethnosectarian quota system within the new government, and reward all the parties in the national unity coalition. The third presidency specifically is being created just to give the image that a minority is in a leading position in Iraq. This is part of the government inflation process that has gone on since Maliki won his second term. Probably the best that can be said about this situation is that each vice president isn’t going to have their own independent budget, which would be an added cost to the state, but will rather be funded from existing monies allotted for Talabani.
Ali, Saman, “Parliament voted for 1-3 presidential vices,” AK News, 1/9/11
Alsumaria, "Iraq Parliament to approve 3 Vice Presidents," 1/10/11
Collier, Robert, “Iraqi constitution in danger of being undone by factions,” San Francisco Chronicle, 3/9/04
Al-Ziyadi, Kholud, “Parliament passes bill permitting 3 Vice Presidents,” AK News, 1/9/11