HomeWorldIraq: Barham Salih elected as new president by Parliament

Iraq: Barham Salih elected as new president by Parliament

Iraq’s legislators have elected Barham Salih, the veteran Kurdish politician as the new president of the country, the state television reports.

Salih was the prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government. He is also the former deputy prime minister of the Iraqi federal government.

Though he was seen as a moderate, Salih was chosen on Tuesday after a minor dispute between the two main Kurdish parties delayed the vote, which eventually forced them to choose among 20 nominees.

Salih routed Fuad Hussein, his main rival with 219 votes to 22.

Shia legislator Hamid al-Moussawi said the session had to be delayed because the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan were not been able to agree on a single candidate.

The new president will get only 15 days to task the nominee of the biggest parliamentary bloc with forming a new government.

Under an unofficial agreement which dates back to the 2003 US-led invasion, Iraq’s presidency which is largely a ceremonial role, is held by a Kurd. Whereas the prime minister is Shia, the parliament speaker is a Sunni.

Salih has also named Adel Abdul Mahdi, the veteran Shia politician as the prime minister-designate, and given him the task of forming a new government, two legislators told the Reuters news agency.

According to the constitution of Iraq ,  Abdul Mahdi now has got 30 days to form a government and present it for approval to the parliament.

Abdul Mahdi was named by Salih just about less a little than two hours after he was elected the president.

The poll which took place on Tuesday follows a weekend parliamentary election in the Kurdish autonomous region, which is in huge economic crisis and still in great shock from the fallout of the referendum which had sparked an extremely punishing response from Baghdad.



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