Kurdish party announces its nominee for Iraqi presidency

Iraqi President Fuad Masum

Erbil ( – A Kurdish party has officially announced its nominee for Iraq’s presidency, a position which is traditionally assumed by a Kurd national.

“Mohamed Saber Ismail was officially nominated by the central council of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) for the position of Iraqi president,” Dijlah TV quoted MP Ezzat Saber as saying.

Ezzat, in his remarks, wished “all success for Ismail in his presidential bid”, shedding light on the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s 50-year struggle for the Kurds and Kurdistan region.

Ismail holds a PhD in nuclear physics and had previously held several positions.

Under the constitution, Iraq’s president is elected by the parliament by a two-thirds majority and is limited to two four-year terms

The speaker of the Iraqi parliament should be a Sunni Arab, the prime minister a Shiite, and the president a Kurd. The current president is Fuad Masum, a member of the PUK.

Fifteen days after final election results are released, the new parliament must hold its first session during which the speaker will be chosen. A new president will be elected within three days of the legislature convening and the president will then ask the largest parliamentary bloc to form a cabinet.

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalition won 54 parliamentary seats in the May 12 parliamentary polls, followed by an al-Hashd al-Shaabi-linked coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s Victory bloc (42 seats).

The vote results, however, have aroused widespread fraud allegations.

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