Kurds Elect Fouad Massoum to Be Iraq’s Next President
|July 26, 2014||Filled under Iraq News, Iraqi News|
Iraq News –
Kurdish members of the Iraqi parliament elected Fouad Massoum, one of the two candidates of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to the post of Iraq’s president on Wednesday evening.
Massoum won 30 votes against his fellow candidate Barham Salih’s 23.
Massoum’s election by the Kurdish MPs has ended weeks of deliberation by the PUK to choose its candidates for the post.
Both Massoum and Salih are senior leaders of the PUK. Massoum has served as the head of the Kurdish parliamentary bloc in Baghdad and Salih was once deputy Iraqi prime minister and Kurdistan Region’s premier for a two-year term.
Arez Abdulla, a PUK parliamentarian told Rudaw that Salih has accepted the outcome of the vote and congratulated Massoum.
Iraq’s presidential post is reserved for the Kurds based on an agreement between Iraq’s Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni groups.
The Kurds for their part have unanimously agreed to give the post to the PUK.
Jalal Talabani, the PUK secretary general, served two terms as president. He is currently recuperating from a stroke at his home in Sulaimani after he returned from 18 months of hospitalization in Germany last week.
For weeks prior to the final vote on the presidential candidate, critics said that PUK’s inability to come up with a nominee was detrimental to the Kurds in Baghdad where around 100 others, the majority of them Sunni Arabs had nominated themselves for the post.
Meanwhile, Kirkuk governor Najmaldin Karim who is a senior PUK leader continues to defy his party and has jumped into the race by officially nominating himself for the post of president.
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